Upper Peninsula National Guard Soldiers train with Latvian partners in Germany

Contact: Sgt. Jonathan Wheeler 906-485-2520
Agency: Military and Veterans Affairs

July 6, 2015

CALUMET, Mich. - The Michigan Army National Guard, 1431st Engineer Company recently completed a three-week training mission from May 16 to June 8, 2015 in Hohenfels, Germany. The mission for the Calumet-based unit was in support of Combined Resolve IV, a bi-annual U.S. Army Europe exercise designed to train participants to function together in a multinational and integrated environment. The exercise also trains U.S. Army rotational forces to Europe to be more flexible, agile and better able to operate alongside Allies and partners in the region.

Combined Resolve IV drew more than 4,700 participants from ten NATO allies including Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, the United States and three partner nations of Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia.

Michigan Soldiers from the 1431st were joined with Latvian counterparts from the Zemessardze (Latvian National Guard), 54th Engineering Battalion, for the majority of the exercise.  Michigan and Latvia have been building strategic and personal relationships since the two were paired in 1993 under the State Partnership Program, a program originally designed to strengthen countries in the Baltic Region as they emerged from the former Soviet Bloc. The SPP, now in its 21st year, has grown to 68 teams spanning the globe and covering every imaginable military service function.

Michigan’s 1431st has a Sapper designation which indicates that it is a combat engineer company.  The Sapper designation means the unit members must maintain proficiency in a wide variety of combat engineering duties that involve facilitating movement and logistics of allied forces while impeding those of enemy forces. To wear the Sapper Tab, a Soldier must be a graduate of the month-long Sapper Leader Course, operated by the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The 1431st is officially based in Calumet but also trains and drills in Baraga, Michigan.

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1431st Combat Engineer Company

Members of the Calumet-based, Michigan Army National Guard, 1431st Combat Engineer Company (Sapper) pose with Latvian National Guard, 54th Engineer Battalion Soldiers at the Hohenfels, Germany training area, May 24, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan Wheeler/Released)