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Latvian Air Force commander tours Battle Creek Guard Base while in Michigan

The Air Force commander for the National Armed Forces of Latvia stopped in Battle Creek on Tuesday, Aug. 14 to tour the Air National Guard Base. (Battle Creek Air National Guard Base)

The Air Force commander for the National Armed Forces of Latvia stopped in Battle Creek on Tuesday, Aug. 14 to tour the Air National Guard Base.

Col. Armands Saltups was in Michigan for the Northern Strike 18, the United State's largest annual component exercise taking place at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. Saltups was joined by Maj. Kaspars Skudrovs, an arifield manager with a hub of the NATO operations in the Baltic region.

Col. Don Henry, the commander of the 217th Combat Operations Squadron, said Battle Creek airmen are excited to work alongside the Baltic-area partners.

"The 217th has a long history of working with the Latvians," Henry said in a news release. "We're excited about the possibilities to work with them further on airfield management, continued work on airspace, and their command and control capabilities."

The airmen discussed cyber defenses, training simulations and toured the control center.

"Today's visit showed something about what the airfield, which is part of the mission, works for," Saltups said in a news release. "Missions are planned at levels above us, and are and executed in air operations centers. This gave us a wider view of operations."


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