NATO and US Launch New Special Operations Facility in the Baltics

January 24, 2021Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die Photo

This article was originally published Jan. 11, 2021, on Sandboxx News. Follow Sandboxx News on Instagram

Earlier this year, US Special Command-Europe (SOCEUR) and NATO launched a new special operations facility in the Baltics.

The special operations facility includes two helipads, ammunition storage, and a vehicle servicing facility. The main purpose of the new facility is to act as a forward-staged base that would enable the transportation of special operations forces and the maintenance of their equipment close to the front.

The new site is located in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

In addition to this special operations facility, NATO and SOCEUR are building another one in Latvia that will be able to house more troops and equipment.

“This project, along with other important European defense initiatives, represents our continued commitment to our friend and ally, Latvia,” said Lieutenant Colonel Juan Martinez, a spokesman for Special Operations Command-Europe, in a statement to Stars and Stripes.

Army Special Forces operators during exercise Winter Shield 2020 that took place in Latvia (SOCEUR).

Through the European Deterrence Initiative, which was introduced in 2014, the Pentagon contributed almost $4 million to the construction of the special operations facility. But that sum is just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions that the US has invested in the Baltic’s military infrastructure.

According to the US European Command (EUCOM), the European Reassurance Initiative enables the US to boost its deterrence posture, increase the readiness and responsiveness of US troops stationed in Europe, support the collective defense and security of NATO allies, and bolster the security and capacity of U.S. allies and partners.

In the 2020 Fiscal Year, EUCOM requested almost $6 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative. Divided into five categories (Increased Presence, Exercises and Training, Enhanced Prepositioning, Improved Infrastructure, and Build Partnership Capacity), the budget aimed to fund a wide variety of capabilities and projects.

For example, the European Deterrence Initiative funded the continued presence of rotational units throughout the European area of operations, like the arctic warfare deployment that the Marine Corps recently conducted in Norway.

Moreover, it financed joint conventional and special operations training, like the joint exercise that involved Swedish commandos and US Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Air Commandos, and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC).

Another key initiative that the European Deterrence Initiative supported was the prepositioning of key equipment, such as tanks and armored personnel carriers, around the European continent.

Investing in infrastructure, like with this new special operations facility, and partnership capacity isn’t the only thing that’s going on in the Baltics lately. Recently, the US Cybercommand held a months-long cyberwarfare event with the Estonian military, which is one of the best when it comes to the cyber domain.

The Suwalki Corridor (or Suwalki Gap) that connects NATO’s forces in eastern Europe and the Baltics (Warsaw Institute).

Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia make up the Baltic countries and are all members of NATO. Their strategic importance mainly stems from the proximity to neighboring Russia. In particular, the 40-mile Suwalki Corridor (or Suwalki Gap) that divides the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and pro-Russian Belarus serves as a link between NATO and US forces in eastern Europe and the Baltics.

Forward-based troops in the Baltics offer a significant deterrent to any Crimea-style aggression from the part of Russia. So, the utility of the new special operations facility is larger than it seems.

Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die

Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

7 of the Best Movie Ambush Scenes of All Time

Ambushes make for great action scenes. Here are seven of the best to ever grace the big screen.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved