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US Lends Predator Drones, Personnel to Latvia Under ‘Reassurance Initiative’

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droneThe U.S. has begun a two-week deployment for two General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drones and 70 personnel to Latvia as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, CNN reported Monday.

Tal Kopan and Jim Sciutto write that U.S. efforts to reassure NATO allies in Eastern Europe of its support to secure the region include the deployment, which will run through Sept. 15.

The initiative also covers joint military exercises and training programs, the report said.

Agence France-Presse also reported via Defense News that personnel will fly the surveillance drones in Latvian airspace and operate them from Lielvarde Air Base.

“This temporary assignment of aircraft and personnel will test their ability to forward deploy [remotely piloted aircraft] to conduct air operations,” Maj. James Brindle, a spokesman for the Pentagon, told AFP.

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