RIGA, Latvia — Allied logisticians off-loaded more than 100 pieces of military equipment, including M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and assorted military cargo from the vessel “Liberty Promise” March 9 at the Riga Universal Terminal docks in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The equipment will support 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Infantry Division training missions at sites across Eastern Europe.
The brigade’s training rotation, in turn, supports Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of continued NATO commitment to collective peace and security throughout the region.
“The equipment from the 3rd Infantry Division and the Soldiers participating in Atlantic Resolve demonstrates our commitment to this collective security,” said Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, commanding general of the Kaiserslautern, Germany-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “Today we are here to partner, to train, to show our resolve and, on short notice, to launch U.S. forces and cargo to demonstrate our reach, our agility and our expeditionary capabilities.”
Operations reinforce NATO allies enduring commitment to collective European security.
“The concept of collective security is the foundation of the NATO agreement, and we take that very seriously,” said Sharon Hudson-Dean, the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Riga. “Doing the training exercises together, having the Soldiers here and having the equipment is all further evidence of how critical that collective security foundation is for the alliance.”
Senior U.S. and Latvian military, political and diplomatic leaders were on hand for the arrival of the vehicles and equipment. More than 40 journalists from Latvia, the U.S. and other nations also covered the arrival of the weapons systems and gear.
“It’s another visual that adds to the many experiences we’re doing together with Latvia as such a good partner,” Hudson-Dean said. “All of this together really shows that this partnership is strong and growing stronger every day.”
According to participating senior officials, the logistical mission sent a powerful message.
“Our message to the Latvian people, U.S. allies and partner nations is that U.S. Army Europe can and will provide prompt support as needed from the air, from the sea and from the land,” O’Connor said. “Together with Latvia and our NATO allies, we can and will meet our global security commitments.”
The coordination and planning for the movement of the vehicles and equipment took logisticians months, and it required synchronization of multiple agencies and partnerships with allied nation representatives to make the move work.
“There are multiple layers to any major move like this,” said Capt. Robert Yauger, commander of the 624th Movement Control Team, 39th Transportation Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade. “Working with the Latvians has been absolutely amazing. We’ve built a great partnership with them and we really have started a strong foundation for the ‘Strong Europe’ movement network.
“Atlantic Resolve has been an outstanding opportunity for my Soldiers to really learn in one of the best environments in the world,” Yauger added. “It’s been a rather unique experience to be able to work in one of our NATO ally countries and understand their values and how they operate.”