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Gunners deployed in Latvia celebrated Saint Barbara's day at Lielvarde air base

December 4, 2022
  • 250 military personnel, who are part of the Spanish contingent, celebrated their Patron Saint's Day with a parade

The NASAMS Anti-Aircraft Missile Defence Unit (UDAA NASAMS) in Latvia, under the command of Commander Juan Jesús Rodríguez Lahore, has been in charge of organising the festivity of Saint Barbara, patron saint of the Artillery weapon. A joint celebration with the Field Artillery Battery of eFP Battle Group XI in which more than 250 artillerymen deployed in Latvia participated.

The day began with a religious service in honour of Saint Barbara, officiated by the military chaplain who is in charge of the religious service of the Spanish troops in Latvia.

This was followed by the military ceremony in the presence of the Spanish Ambassador to Latvia, Manuel Alhama Orenes, who accompanied Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Aranda Gil, who presided over the ceremony as Head of the Spanish contingent in Latvia.

The parade and ceremony was attended by two batteries, an anti-aircraft artillery battery from UDAA NASAMS and a field artillery battery from the force deployed as part of NATO's Battle Group in Latvia in operation enhance Forward Presence (eFP).

The event was attended by Latvian civil and military authorities, including the head of the Latvian Air Force, Colonel Viesturs Masulis, as well as US Army personnel deployed to Latvia.

During his speech, the head of the UDAA NASAMS reiterated the commitment of the Spanish Armed Forces in the defence of freedom. He highlighted the effort and dedication of each of our artillerymen leaving their families behind to march united in the mission, because the defence of the borders of Europe is the defence of Spain, democracy and freedom.

The NASAMS air defence unit (UDAA) recently received NATO Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) certification after successfully passing the relevant tests. This assessment evaluated the different areas that make up the force, from tactical, operational, logistical, personnel and communications aspects.

The UDAA NASAMS contributes to national and collective defence, reaffirming our commitment to NATO as a reliable partner, enhancing the values and prestige represented by the Spanish Armed Forces, with the motivation, sacrifice and effort involved in the deployment of the personnel of an Anti-Aircraft Artillery unit on the front line of defence of the Alliance's eastern flank.