Rīga, Latvia – From 27-29 June NATO Force Integration Unit Latvia conducted a tabletop exercise “ENABLER 23” developed to improve Reception, Staging and Onward Movement (RSOM) processes in Latvia for the deployment of high-readiness forces. More than 20 participants from Latvia as a Host Nation, NATO entities and Allied forces, including representatives from NATO’s Very High-Readiness Forces (VJTF) Land Component took part in the exercise.
Exercise participants were able to discuss different scenarios and find solutions to different challenges, which might arise during high-readiness forces deployment. For example, one of the scenarios played out cyber-attacks on communication networks and how in such circumstances to ensure continued communication with allied troops deploying to the region. Another scenario played out how we would respond to a last minute change in the plan caused by bad weather in the Baltic Sea. By exercising involved participants were able to test already existing procedures and adjust them, if necessary, and familiarize themselves with potential scenarios of deployment of Allied Forces.
NFIU Latvia has an important role in the rapid deployment of high-readiness forces. Bringing together the Host Nation and NATO entities allows us to playout different scenarios and in case any shortfalls are identified do everything to mitigate them. Therefore, if the security situation in the real time requires allied forces deployment to the region, it is rapid and smooth.
Earlier this year NFIU Latvia already informed about VJTF Land 23 Recce during which participants visited reception and staging places, such as Lielvārde Airfield and Liepāja Port to improve overall understanding of the military infrastructure in Latvia. Tabletop exercise is just another step to ensure we are well prepared to support the deployment of high readiness forces to Latvia, that all possible contingencies have been considered and that current plans are robust enough to cope with any unforeseen events.
The VJTF is the highest-readiness element of NATO's Response Force (NRF) created in 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. VJTF is NATO’s first responder and a key part of our collective defense. If activated, the force will be available to move immediately, following the first indicators and warnings of potential threats before a crisis begins, to act as a potential deterrent to further escalation.
The leadership and membership rotate annually among Allies. In 2023, VJTF land forces consist of around 11 500 thousand troops from 9 NATO Allies - Belgium, Czechia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and led by Germany.