NATO exercise Silver Arrow 2022 in Latvia closes with live artillery fires

Multinational visitors from NATO visited the closing event for a live-fire demonstration of Exercise Silver Arrow on September 29, 2022. Sgt. Lianne Hirano, U.S. Army, reports.
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Patria NEMO firing on the last day of Silver Arrow 2022. NEMO (from "NEw MOrtar") is a single-barrelled 120mm remote-controlled mortar turret developed by Patria Land Oy in Finland. It is a lighter version of the Amos mortar system, which has been in use within the Finnish Defence Forces since 2013 (Picture source: U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Lianne Hirano)

During this two-week-long exercise, Silver Arrow brought 17 NATO allied armed forces units with over 4,000 military personnel and 1,000 vehicles together to develop relationships and capitalize on allied and partner nation capabilities. “The multinational NATO Exercise Silver Arrow is a training event every fall that allows the alliance to work through increasing our combat readiness as well as the interoperability between all the nations within our great alliance,” said Army Col. Richard J. Ikena Jr., 1st Infantry Division Artillery commander. “This is another great training event here in Latvia with the Latvian Mechanized Brigade and the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group.”

The final day of Silver Arrow 2022 consisted of NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group vehicles reacting to direct and indirect fire and breaching to showcase combat capabilities and readiness for defense and deterrence. The event also allowed distinguished visitors, such as U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, John Carwile, the chance to participate in the live-fire demonstration. “This live-fire exercise was a great testament to the commitment of the unity of NATO,” said Carwile. “The United States' presence here and our commitment to NATO, Latvia security and Baltic security is an impressive show of force.”

Silver Arrow being conducted in Europe demonstrates a strong U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region. “This training event was part of the Latvian overall national exercise of NAMEJS,” said Ikena. “This has been another great demonstration of the commitment and relationships and the enhancement of interoperability between all the forces here in Latvia during Exercise Silver Arrow.”

Silver Arrow 2022 is a long-planned exercise in line with NATO’s role as a defensive Alliance for more than 70 years, protecting one billion people in allied territory. “The idea that NATO and United States forces can project power and force around the world sends a strong message of our resolve, not only in times of conflict, but also in times of peace,” Carwile said.