The US has organised a large-scale NATO military drill, Sabre Strike 2011, for the first time at the Adazi Training Area in Latvia.

The aim of the drill is to practice interoperability procedures and to improve the integration of the land and air operational ability of three Baltic States and the US.

The drills will aid possible future deployment in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operation in Afghanistan and other future operations, the Latvian Defence ministry said.

Units from the Baltic states, Poland and the US, with over 1,700 servicemen from five Nato countries, will take part until 31 October.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have added 175, 245 and 160 troops respectively to the 55,000-strong ISAF contingent in Afghanistan, according to RIA Novosti.