STUTTGART, Germany --- A new special operations site that will allow elite U.S. troops to expand operations in the Baltic region is up and running in the Latvian capital of Riga, military officials said Thursday.
The U.S. contributed $3.7 million to the project through the European Deterrence Initiative, the Pentagon program that funds efforts aimed at preventing Russian aggression on NATO’s eastern flank.
“This project, along with other important European defense initiatives, represents our continued commitment to our friend and ally, Latvia,” Lt. Col. Juan Martinez, a spokesman for Special Operations Command-Europe, said in a statement.
U.S. Embassy officials in Latvia and Latvian military leaders officially opened a new special operations site, which will be used by U.S. forces, in the Baltic country's capital, Riga, in late November 2020.
The site is the latest example of steady U.S. military investment in the Baltic region, where the Pentagon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past five years to improve military infrastructure and allow more drills to be carried out.
The new base officially opened last week during a ceremony attended by U.S. diplomats and Latvian military leaders.
It includes a vehicle servicing facility, ammunition storage and two helipads for U.S. CV-22 aircraft from the United Kingdom-based 352nd Special Operations Wing. The assets are designed to allow special operations forces to move rapidly in and out of the area and conduct maintenance, Martinez said. (end of excerpt)
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