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BSRF-13, Latvian land forces kick-off training

By Lance Cpl. Michael Dye | | April 19, 2013


Ninety-four U.S. Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 marked the beginning of Exercise Summer Shield 10, a two-week military engagement with the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Soldiers, during an opening ceremony at Camp Adazi, Latvia, April 15, 2013.

The three military forces will be working with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force BSRF-13 during Summer Shield to enhance interoperability, promote regional stability and build camaraderie amongst the military forces.

The units gathered on the parade deck aboard Camp Adazi and held a massive formation where the brigade commander of the Latvian Land Force, Col. Dzintars Roga, welcomed all the military forces and expressed gratitude toward everyone who was attending.

“I am really honored to have all these military powers coming to Latvia to train in this exercise,” said Roga.  “I look forward to sharing the experience between each other and establishing friendships.”

Summer Shield 10 focuses on integration of fires and maneuver in a joint environment to build partner nation capacity while enhancing our interoperability.

“BSRF-13 is here to strengthen and further our bond with the Latvian land forces,” said Capt. Scott Helminski, BSRF-13’s weapons company commander, and Rockford, Ill. native.

Critical to the exercise will be a training package focused on call for fire techniques.

“Calling for fire is when a unit is downrange and they need support from air, artillery or mortars to seize or eliminate a target or objective,” said Lance Cpl. Justin Conlen, a Barre, Mass. native, operations clerk with BSRF-13.  “We are going to achieve this by employing several scenarios which require the military forces to effectively communicate with the command to call-in for additional support.”

Following Summer Shield, the Marines and sailors with BSRF-13 will re-deploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania where they will continue to serve as a crisis response force of more than 250 Marines conducting a 6-month theater security cooperation deployment with 21 partner nations. The self-contained Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force provides EUCOM the ability to quickly respond to a regional crisis within the unit’s capabilities while building military capacity, providing regional stability, and developing lasting partnerships.