The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) has announced the participation of nearly 4,200 troops from 17 allied nations in Exercise Silver Arrow 2022 held in Latvia.
The multinational exercise was intended to strengthen interoperability among the various military forces.
Allies such as Albania, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, the UK, and the US took part in the exercise.
The annual drills also saw the participation of Nato’s multinational battlegroup, which is a part of Latvia’s Mechanised Infantry Brigade.
As part of the exercise, combined forces working alongside US Army Europe and Africa deployed two M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
The HIMARS systems were delivered to the location by joint US personnel assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, and the 1st Infantry Division Artillery.
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The systems displayed a dry fire drill and a live fire exercise using two reduced-range practice rockets, demonstrating their ability to deploy rapidly in the defence of the alliance.
The quick response exercise was performed in coordination with the Latvian Armed Forces and the Swedish DIVARTY Forces.
Latvian National Guard’s 4th Brigade, 44th Infantry Battalion commander lieutenant colonel Viktors Kareckis said: “It is important to know Nato’s capabilities and to understand what each partner can do, what the United States can do, what the Latvian military can do, and how to better work together.”
Baker Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade commander captain William A Christner said: “The rockets can fire up to 70km while the guided missile can fire up to 270km.”
“The launcher can roll up to a firing position, acquire its position via GPS and be ready to shoot within 30 seconds.
“One of the advantages the HIMARS has is its mobility. It’s a wheeled vehicle so it’s much faster and can go to a lot more places than a tracked vehicle. It’s also mobile in that it can get on an aircraft and fly to austere airfields to extend its range.”