Canadian Army soldiers deploy to Latvia
June 9, 2017 – Edmonton, Alberta – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Approximately 100 soldiers from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deployed today from Edmonton, Alberta to Latvia on Operation REASSURANCE, as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group.
Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and will establish and lead a robust multinational rotational NATO battlegroup in Latvia as part of the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade. Three other eFP battlegroups have been established in Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland, and are led respectively by the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.
The presence of Albania, Canada, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain in Latvia is a clear demonstration of Allied solidarity, determination, and ability to defend Latvia’s population and territory against any possible aggression. The battlegroup’s aim to dissuade potential adversaries from using military means against any Ally, thus preserving regional stability and preventing conflict. This deployment is defensive, proportionate and fully in line with NATO’s international commitments.
“Canada is a strong supporter of NATO and is committed to doing its part as a member of the Alliance. The Canadian Armed Forces’ response in support of NATO’s activities promotes security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe, and demonstrates the readiness and professionalism of the Canadian Armed Forces.”
— Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“The deploying members of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group are ready to take on the important role of leading the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia. Our soldiers are well-trained, highly-capable, and ready to partner with our Allies in deterring Russian aggression.”
— Colonel William Fletcher, Commander, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
The majority of soldiers deploying are from the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta. The group departing today will join an advance party of roughly 50 soldiers already in Latvia.
Since 2014, Canada has actively participated alongside our NATO Allies in measures to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe — through partnering, training, exercises, and other operational tasks.
This deployment is part of the renewed Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Before deploying, these soldiers completed an intense schedule of individual and collective training to hone their general and mission-specific skills, including weapons training, mental readiness, and language and cultural awareness.
Canada enjoys excellent relations with Latvia. Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, and one of the first countries to ratify Latvia's accession to NATO in 2004.
Captain Derek Reid
Public Affairs Officer, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
Phone: 780-973-4011 ext 7415
Department of National Defence
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