06:19 GMT +319 November 2019
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    US Deploys Two Predator Drones to Latvian Air Base

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    The United States has sent two MQ-1 Predator drones supported by 70 US airmen on a temporary deployment to an air base in Latvia, US European Command said in a press release on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The deployment of the drones, which are capable of intelligence gathering and striking targets with Hellfire missiles, will continue through mid-September.

    “Two MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) and approximately 70 Airmen from the 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard… deployed to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia over the weekend,” the press release read.

    European Command said the stationing would allow the forces to conduct air operations and test drones to reassure Latvia and NATO of the United States’ commitment to regional security.

    The deployment is part of the European Reassurance Initiative, meant to support NATO members and partners against what US officials describe as a rising Russian threat in the region.

    Lielvarde Air Base is located southeast of Latvia’s capital of Riga and supports operations for Latvian Air force.


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