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USAFE Takes Flight in Latvia supporting Saber Strike

A maintainer directs an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot to a designated spot on the flight line at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A maintainer directs an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot to a designated spot on the flight line at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts sit on the flight line at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. The A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts sit on the flight line at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. The A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes-off from Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018.  A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes-off from Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Maj. David Dennis, 107th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations and A-10 pilot, deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, completes his pre-flight checklist at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. Members of the 127th supported Saber Strike 18 to help build U.S. and partner nations’ capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Maj. David Dennis, 107th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations and A-10 pilot, deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, completes his pre-flight checklist at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. Members of the 127th supported Saber Strike 18 to help build U.S. and partner nations’ capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A pilot and a maintainer exchange hand signals during Saber Strike 18 at Lielvarde air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018.  Saber Strike 18 is a U.S. Army Europe led exercise which aims to build stronger operational partnerships between the U.S. and its partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A pilot and a maintainer exchange hand signals during Saber Strike 18 at Lielvarde air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a U.S. Army Europe led exercise which aims to build stronger operational partnerships between the U.S. and its partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts fly over Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts fly over Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs prepare for takeoff at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. Eight A-10s were deployed to Lielvarde AB to perform close air support maneuvers to improve capabilities with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs prepare for takeoff at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. Eight A-10s were deployed to Lielvarde AB to perform close air support maneuvers to improve capabilities with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes-off from Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018.  A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes-off from Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, June 4, 2018. A-10s were deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, to support exercise Saber Strike 18. While flying, A-10 pilots worked on close air support tactics and communication with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to combine air and land capabilities for U.S. and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

LIELVARDE AIR BASE, Latvia -- A-10 Thunderbolt II engines roared to life as pilots and aircraft deployed to Europe from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, kicked-off air support for Saber Strike, June 4, 2018.

Saber Strike 18 is the eighth iteration of a U.S. Army Europe led exercise aiming to build stronger operational partnerships between the U.S. and 19 of its allies and regional partners to include: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

“The overall objective is to improve air, land, and sea capabilities and build on those with our partner nations,” said Evette Seck, lead United States Air Forces in Europe planner for Saber Strike 18. “The start of flying today showcased the integration for the air component during this exercise and the ability to properly posture Air Forces to gain and maintain superiority in the skies.”

Even though aircrafts are what win air superiority, it is the men and women on the ground that make it all possible.

“It’s an entire base process for us to fly our aircrafts,” said Maj. David Dennis, 107th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations and A-10 pilot. “It takes strong teams to project military power for deterrence.”

While acknowledging the efforts of the crews that put aircraft in the sky, Dennis also mentions the support that has been provided by partner nations in the region to make Saber Strike happen.

“On behalf of (my leadership), we are grateful for the opportunity to be here and to interact with Latvia and the other Baltic nations,” said Dennis. “We really appreciate their hospitality.”

Saber Strike focuses on many different facets of joint warfighting and hones on the U.S. and its allies’ ability to respond quickly and efficiently with precision to ensure the security and stability of the region.

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