Over 3,000 troops and 200 vehicles from 12 NATO Allies are taking part in exercise Silver Arrow in Latvia this week.

The multinational exercise, which wraps up on 3 October, provides an opportunity for forces to enhance their readiness, and train with one of four NATO battlegroups in the region.

NATO’s battlegroup in Latvia is composed of around 1,000 troops from Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Exercise Silver Arrow is designed to test the battlegroup’s ability to plan and conduct operations with the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

This week, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers – specialised soldiers who guide fighter aircraft to targets on the ground – from Canada, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia and Spain conducted air-to-ground training at Camp Ādaži.

Two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter aircraft will also support the exercise, conducting air-to-ground support missions, say the Alliance.

According to NATO:

“NATO deployed four multinational battlegroups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. These battlegroups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, and combat-ready.

Their presence makes clear that an attack on one Ally will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance. NATO’s battlegroups form part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance‘s collective defence in a generation.”

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David Flandry

A Russian division would go through them like , uhhh..


If you look at NATO cold war plans, the plan was pretty much sacrifice the forward deployed troops / countries for long enough for nukes to be fired.

Whether NATO has managed to get the edge tech /gear/numbers wise since then who knows (capability of one asset against another can only really be known once they engage each other in a real combined warfare war), but assuming not then yes this is exactly what would happen to Latvia.

Not that i believe for a moment that Russia would attack.


The Russians are making a concerted effort to destabilize Latvia through broadcasting, publishing and posting Fake News stories on the Internet. The Russians cannot seem to accept the fact Latvia, once a USSR satellite is now part of NATO. It’s imperative the Latvians understand NATO will come to their aid should the Russians invade.


I believe the Albanain troops are logistic and transport troops, as that is their speciality, that is moving people from one country to another………..

David Barry

I’d give you a funny but…

Daniele Mandelli

But he is Correct. However un pc it may be.

David Barry

It would be interedting to know if the CF18s operated out of Lielvarde.

BV Buster

I have a huge amount of respect for the Latvian armed forces and have worked with them often over the years. If you look at what state they were in 5 to 10 years ago compared to what they have to offer now, their progress is impressive. David, I disagree with you on that one, having seen them in action and taking into account the multinational support, the fairly 1 sided air picture, the terrain (Absolutely disgusting to fight in) and the always important fact that Latvians in general are just hard bast**ds, I think Russia would struggle. Just my… Read more »

BV Buster

That was to David F not David B!

David Barry

When you consider that their officer cadets get to spend some nights naked in Winter in a forest, “hard” doesn’t do them justice… nails, brass balled perhaps… I wouldn’t mess with them @bv_buster.

Should there be one problem with LatAF then it is number of Russian 1st language speakers, it’s their potential trojan horse.

Finally, the Russians are tough buggers too…

Daniele Mandelli

The Latvian divisions of the Waffen SS certainly gave the Russians plenty of trouble in World War Two.

David Barry

The Latvian forest brothers also gave the Soviets something to chew on for several more years.

Very tough, resourceful people, left well alone… and that’s just the ladies.

Daniele Mandelli

Ah yes, I’d read of that history. One was still holding out into the 70s I recall.

David Barry

Oops flagged your comment in the sense that it was informative. No offense meant. I’d heard of some lasting into the 60’s but not longer.

Daniele Mandelli

You might well be right. 60s 70s, it was a long time after hostilities officially ended that resistance continued.


Spot on BV, and the Estonian lads are pretty up for it also, had a troop of them lads in Afghan, although not much between all three Baltic countries apart from a border on a map! All have a good attitude to Defence and soldiering!

David Flandry

I have respect for the Latvians too. Unfortunately, the population of the entire country is less than 2 million. Boots on the ground are needed,

David Barry

Now there is the bull in the china shop: Mid 90s – 2.6m pop 2013 – 2.1m 2018 – 1.6m 2019 – heading south according to informed sources. The problem is the economy and the soviet mind-set of having everything inside govt. Huge ‘Civil Service’ inefficient local government featuring multiple layers, railway employs 12+ K people. And the governments of all hues just taking the money from the EU – check out the railbaltic programme – it is just a way of a select few coining it in – millions spent already and nothing. Closer to home, Lithuania, Latvia and… Read more »