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U.S., NATO Allies conduct large-scale exercise to defend Baltics

US Marine Corps News

By Courtesy Story | June 20, 2016

A multinational force including U.S. Marines partnered together for a large-scale NATO exercise in the Baltics demonstrating their ability to defend the alliance.

Exercise Saber Strike 16 included U.S. Marines from Black Sea Rotational Force based in Romania, and Combat Logistics Regiment 2 out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

"We fight together with our Allies and partners; we combine our efforts, tactics and procedures. The more we work together, the better we get," said Maj. Christopher Reynolds, the executive officer with Black Sea Rotational Force. "Working together while using each other's equipment allowed us to get better at it so we can enhance our collective capabilities."

More than 10,000 service members from the U.S. and 12 NATO partner nations are participating in Saber Strike exercises across Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland between June 11-20. Troops are conducting realistic training scenarios with their allied U.S. Marine partners in Latvia.

"Since 2014, it's already shown that situations change, therefore it's important to be with capable forces at the right time and place," said Brig. Gen. Ainars Ozolins, the Latvian Exercise Director for Exercise Saber Strike 16. "Being able to respond to any threat shows our commitment to democracy and our values."

The nearly 430 Marines supported live-fire exercises with mechanized assets alongside their NATO Allies. Partner nations hosted instructional lanes that facilitated full integration between units.

Saber Strike is an annual combined-joint exercise in the Baltic region. The combined training strengthens ties between allies and partners, allowing them to respond to regional crises and facilitate their own security measures by enhancing the security of borders and countering threats.

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