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Paducah native leads military forces in Republic of Latvia

By SGT. 1st CLASS JIM DOWNEN U.S. Army National Guard

ADAZI, Latvia - Paducah native Capt. Mark Wurth returned to the U.S. recently from the Republic of Latvia after commanding his Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle unit where U.S. and Latvian military forces worked closely together to improve military readiness.

The Shadow platoon spent the past two months participating in several military exercises including Namejs and Saber Strike 14. In each of these military exercises the Shadow platoon provided aerial surveillance to enhance the capabilities of the military forces of NATO partners who were involved in the training exercise.

The Shadow commander, Capt. Mark Wurth said, "We conducted the first UAS flights in the Baltics, the first UAS flights from both Lielvarde and Adazi airfields. We achieved our goal of integrating our Shadow UAS system with the Latvian military air and ground controllers which validates the interoperability of our forces.

This historic mission enhanced not only the leadership of Wurth, but also expanded the cultural understanding of his soldiers as well as their technical experience.

Wurth resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife Denise, and two children. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Mary High School in Paducah and the son of Hazel Wurth of Boaz and the late Tony Wurth.

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