More than 1,200 troops from 12 countries, including the US and Sweden, are taking part in Latvia’s two-week NATO military drills, dubbed Summer Shield. The exercises, which began as drills for coalition forces invading Iraq, are now seen as serving to deter Russia. Soldiers from Latvia, the US, Bulgaria, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, the UK, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Germany and also non-NATO member Sweden are taking part in the drills, which have been held in the country since 2004.

The servicemen are due to practice a range of combat support elements, including artillery, air defense, reconnaissance, defense against weapons of mass destruction, support of combat and construction engineers and anti-tank capabilities, LETA news agency reports, quoting the Latvian Defense Ministry. Air support controllers, fire support observers, medical company and transport units will also show off their skills. READ MORE