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Saber Strike 2015 comes to an end

Members of the 127th Wing Security Forces Squadron and Latvian Military Police, who are also Presidential Guards, perform a security detail to guard both Michigan and Pennsylvania Air National Guard KC-135s during Saber Strike 2015. The Airmen from the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, have traveled to Latvia for the sole purpose of providing around-the-clock security to ensure the aircraft are completely secured and safe to support mission taskings during the exercise.  The Michigan National Guard is a part of a Department of Defense sponsored State Partnership Program between Michigan and the Latvian government, which began in 1993. Exercise Saber Strike 2015 brought 14 ally and partner nations together to increase interoperability between military forces. (U.S.Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

Members of the 127th Wing Security Forces Squadron and Latvian Military Police, who are also Presidential Guards, perform a security detail to guard both Michigan and Pennsylvania Air National Guard KC-135s during Saber Strike 2015. The Airmen from the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, have traveled to Latvia for the sole purpose of providing around-the-clock security to ensure the aircraft are completely secured and safe to support mission taskings during the exercise. The Michigan National Guard is a part of a Department of Defense sponsored State Partnership Program between Michigan and the Latvian government, which began in 1993. Exercise Saber Strike 2015 brought 14 ally and partner nations together to increase interoperability between military forces. (U.S.Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

Technical Sgt. John McGough, 191st Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion specialist, connects a live feed that allows direct contact with the pilot to prepare to perform a series of inspections on a KC-135 Stratotanker at Riga International Airport, Latvia, during Saber Strike 2015 on June 11. The 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, aircraft is flying mid-air refueling missions which allows continuous air support during the exercise. Saber Strike is a annual exercise with the aim of  improving the cooperation and capabilities of the participating nations for future contingency operations. This year's exercise objectives facilitate cooperation among Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

Technical Sgt. John McGough, 191st Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion specialist, connects a live feed that allows direct contact with the pilot to prepare to perform a series of inspections on a KC-135 Stratotanker at Riga International Airport, Latvia, during Saber Strike 2015 on June 11. The 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, aircraft is flying mid-air refueling missions which allows continuous air support during the exercise. Saber Strike is a annual exercise with the aim of improving the cooperation and capabilities of the participating nations for future contingency operations. This year's exercise objectives facilitate cooperation among Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

A Maryland Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II peels off shortly after being refueled by Master Sgt. Joseph LaPinta, 171st Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, in a Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker during Saber Strike 2015. Exercise Saber Strike 2015 has brought 14 ally and partner nations together to increase interoperability between military forces. The Michigan National Guard is a part of a Department of Defense sponsored State Partnership Program between Michigan and the Latvian government, which began in 1993. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

A Maryland Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II peels off shortly after being refueled by Master Sgt. Joseph LaPinta, 171st Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, in a Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker during Saber Strike 2015. Exercise Saber Strike 2015 has brought 14 ally and partner nations together to increase interoperability between military forces. The Michigan National Guard is a part of a Department of Defense sponsored State Partnership Program between Michigan and the Latvian government, which began in 1993. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Anthony J. Lesterson)

RIGA, Latvia -- Months of planning, hard work, and coordination brings members of the 127th Wing to the end of another successful exercise as participants begin to wrap up operations.

Since the beginning stages of planning through Thursday, June 18, military representatives from 14 nations including the United States and Latvia have been putting together the pieces of what has become Saber Strike 2015. The planning phase alone displays the great relationship between all ally and partner forces involved in Saber Strike due to the level of communication and dedication it takes to arrange such a large scale exercise.

Saber Strike is an U.S Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise conducted annually since 2010. The aim of the exercise is to improve the  cooperation and  capabilities of the participating nations for future contingency operations. This year's exercise  objectives facilitate cooperation among Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Air National Guard participants of Saber Strike included Michigan and Pennsylvania flying the KC-135 Stratotankers, Maryland flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and South Carolina with F-16 Fighting Falcons operating along side multinational military forces in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

The Michigan ANG has a long standing partnership throughout the Baltic States, specifically with Latvian State Partners, who graciously hosted the Saber Strike 2015 Michigan-Latvia Partnership Day.

"Saber Strike 2015 serves as another shining example of the enduring partnership that exists between Michigan and Latvia through the State Partnership program," said Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, 127th Wing commander, Michigan Air National Guard." 

The Wing and the state deployed people and equipment in a substantive demonstration of our resolve to support our partners and to let them know that Michigan has been, and will be, a true friend in times of peace as well as in times of trouble."

Throughout this two week exercise, members of the 127th Wing Air Refueling Group, working with the Pennsylvania ANG, distributed 171,701 pounds of fuel coming out to 25,627 gallons. There was contact made 82 times with incoming aircraft with a total of 17 missions. A total of 6,588 man hours were worked for these Airmen to get the job done.

"The men and women of the 127th performed remarkably in our continuing efforts to demonstrate coalitional warfighting as well as peacemaking capabilities," said Slocum.