Members of Latvia’s Defense Ministry, including the Minister of Defense, Raimonds Bergmanis, visited the Michigan National Guard last week as part of an ongoing military exchange called the State Partnership Program. Michigan and Latvia have been partners in the program for the last 24 years. During the day and a half long visit, the delegation toured Michigan National Guard facilities at Alpena and Grayling.
The first stop on the tour was a visit to the Alpena Combat Readiness Center where the delegation was given a briefing on the successful joint firepower observer program between Latvia and the Michigan Guard. The briefing was followed by a demonstration of the firefighting training resources at the Alpena CRTC. The delegation spent roughly half the day at the Alpena CRTC.
After an aerial tour over Camp Grayling the group touched down and spent the next day getting familiarized with some of the facilities on Camp Grayling. While there, the group visited the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, the Maneuver and Training Equipment Site and the hangar used to house Michigan National Guard unmanned aerial surveillance systems.
“Thank you for your contributions over the years,” said Bergmanis, “your support has been unbelievable. I have been very impressed by what I have seen here during our visit.”
“We have been there for 24 years,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, during a presentation ceremony at the end of the visit. “And we will be there tomorrow and for all of tomorrow’s tomorrows as well.”