November 3, at Ādaži base, Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks and Commander of the National Armed Forces Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš marked Iceland’s accession to the NATO Battlegroup in Latvia.
As part of NATO’s expanded presence in Latvia, Iceland will make a contribution in the field of strategic communication. Communication experts from Iceland have also joined NATO’s expanded presence battlegroups in Lithuania and Estonia.
Iceland has been a member of NATO since the Alliance was founded on April 4, 1949. Iceland has no armed forces and participates in NATO operations by providing financial contributions and civilian personnel. Iceland was also the first country to recognize the restoration of independence of Latvia in 1991, a fact which means it is always regarded fondly.
The multinational battlegroup in Latvia is led by Canada and consists of more than 1,500 soldiers from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, who serve on a rotating basis in Latvia, participating in exercises with the National Armed Forces.
The purpose of establishing and deploying NATO’s enhanced presence battlegroups is to enhance NATO’s deterrence and strengthen the Alliance’s defense by demonstrating solidarity against all forms of aggression. The welcoming ceremony of the battlegroup for NATO’s expanded presence in Latvia took place on 19 June 2017 at Ādaži base.