SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - One responsibility U.S. Transportation Command senior leaders have is visiting with members of foreign governments to discuss partnership efforts. On occasion, those individuals come to Illinois to meet with USTRANSCOM and learn more about the organization in person.
This week, Aivis Ronis, Latvian Minister of Transport visited with Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander, USTRANSCOM. Latvia has become an increasingly important partner in U.S. and coalition efforts in Afghanistan, as a large portion of Northern Distribution Network cargo now flows through the port of Riga.
During the meeting discussion focused on Latvia’s role within the NDN and its concept for retrograde flow. Ronis shared his thanks with Fraser for TRANSCOM’s support of NDN traffic through Latvia and stressed the credibility that the NDN brings to the country’s ports, airports and railways and the economic prosperity the extra business brings to the country.
Emphasizing the desire for future involvement, Ronis explained that Latvia is a ready and willing partner that would like to support NDN retrograde flow; including air, rail and ground means, as well as equipment wash down facilities as needed.
Delegation members also expressed appreciation for the USTRANSCOM interaction with Latvia, indicating that it has caused many other countries reawaken to the age-old trade routes that connect Europe and Southeast Asia.
While visiting the United States, Ronis planned to speak with his counterpart at the Department of Transportation, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, the Director of Defense Logistics Agency, Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Material Readiness, Alan Estevez. Additionally, he will be visiting with leaders at various private transport and logistics companies.
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