CAMP ADAZI, Latvia -- Training is complete, and it's time to go home for most of the NATO Soldiers who participated in Exercise Silver Arrow.
Remaining in the Baltics are paratroopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade, who participated in the closing ceremony events Monday in Camp Adazi, Latvia.
Silver Arrow was a two-week long Latvian-led exercise that joined allied armed forces units to develop relationships and leverage allied and partner nation capabilities. It was part of Atlantic Resolve, a U.S.-led effort being conducted in Eastern Europe to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and peace and stability in the region.
At the closing ceremony, Latvian Colonel Ilmars Atis Lejins, commanding general for the Latvian Land Forces, delivered a speech to service members of the 10 NATO nations who participated in the exercise. The nations included Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Albania, Luxembourg, Canada, Germany, Romania, Great Britain, and the United States.
"I understand that we have met our training objectives and have done more. We have conquered our ignorance, arrogance and we have learned from each other," Lejins said. "We have rediscovered old tricks of the trade. We understand that it is important to dig in, to use camouflage and to use technology correctly."
Silver Arrow was conducted in several locations throughout Latvia. The exercise involved airborne insertions, integrated force on force, and combined training. During the exercise U.S. Soldiers and Marines also conducted community outreach projects.
During the closing ceremony, Lejins handed out plaques to the unit commanders and individuals selected as 'best soldier' for each unit. Soldiers from each NATO nation lowered their flag to officially signal the end of the exercise.
Lejins expressed hope that everyone who participated would take new ideas from the exercise back to their home stations.
"Next year, I would like to see you all here again," he said.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is capable of projecting forces to conduct a full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours. Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. led effort in Eastern Europe that demonstrates U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region.
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.