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U.S. Air Force aircraft arrives in Latvia to support exercise Saber Strike 2017

Release Number: 040617

A Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker descends onto Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 17 June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker descends onto Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 17 June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A U.S. Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker taxis on a runway after landing on Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 2017, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker taxis on a runway after landing on Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 2017, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker taxis on a runway after landing on Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 2017, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker taxis on a runway after landing on Riga International Airport, Latvia, for exercise Saber Strike 2017, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport carrying approximately 50 Airmen to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Riga International Airport personnel marshals a Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker into its parking spot at Riga International Airport, Latvia, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)

A Riga International Airport personnel marshals a Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker into its parking spot at Riga International Airport, Latvia, June 4, 2017. Two KC-135s flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., landed at the airport to participate in Saber Strike 2017. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh)


Two KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and approximately 50 supporting Airmen from the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., arrived at Riga International Airport, Riga, Latvia today, in support of U.S. Army Europe-led exercise, Saber Strike 2017. 
 

Saber Strike 2017 is the seventh iteration of a long-standing U.S Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise designed to enhance interoperability among allies and regional partners. This year's exercise has a particular focus on improving land, sea, and air operational capabilities with an additional key objective to train with NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups. 

The eFP battlegroups stationed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland are part of NATO's overall deterrence and defense posture and are designed to demonstrate the alliance's determination and ability to act as one in response to any aggression against its members. The Multinational Corps North East will command and control multinational portions of the exercise.  

Key training events of Saber Strike 2017 include a convoy by battlegroup Poland from Orzysz, Poland to southern Lithuania; a maritime prepositioned offload of pre-staged supplies and equipment in Latvia; a Marine amphibious assault in Latvia; two combined arms live fire exercises (in Poland and Lithuania); an air assault by the British Royal Marines at the Polish and Lithuanian border; and a river-crossing in the same area. 

This year's participating nations include: Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom, as well as NATO. 

In addition to the KC-135s, other U.S. Air National Guard and U.S. Air Forces Europe exercise support assets include, Joint Tactical Air Controllers, F-16 Fighting Falcons, a Contingency Response Group and aerial port capabilities as well as a forward deployment of forces and equipment by C-130 transport aircraft. 

Saber Strike 17 takes place from May 28 through June 24, 2017. 

For more information, contact U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Public Affairs at +49 06371-476558 or e-mail usafepao.pao@us.af.mil.