Canadian Armed Forces Members deploy to continue deterrence mission in Latvia

News Release

January 13, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Following months of training and preparation, approximately 450 Canadian Armed Forces members are now on their way to Latvia to provide relief for Canadian soldiers taking part in Operation REASSURANCE. The new Canadian personnel, led by the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) will replace the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Latvia. Lieutenant-Colonel Sean French, Commanding Officer of 2 RCR, will assume command of the multinational battlegroup shortly after his arrival.

As articulated in Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged – the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces members as part of Operation REASSURANCE reaffirms Canada’s commitment to leading and contributing to NATO’s efforts to deter and defend against potential adversaries in order to support global stability.

The eFP Battlegroup Latvia comprises military contingents from Albania, Canada, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.

NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence is part of a defensive and proportionate response to the evolving security environment in the region. The Battlegroup is training with the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade, with which it will work hand-in-hand to deter, and if necessary help defend, the people of Latvia from aggression.


Additional multimedia

Canadian soldiers with NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia coordinate a plan with a Polish tank commander on August 24, 2017, during the Certification Exercise being held at Camp Adazi, Latvia. Photo: Corporal Jordan Lobb, Canadian Forces Combat Camera ©2017 DND/MDN Canada

Quotes

“After months of training and preparation, the deploying members of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battlegroup are ready to carry out the critical role of leading NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia. My very best wishes go out to all of our members deploying and I thank their families for their support and dedication.”

– Brigadier-General Stephen Cadden, Commander 4th Canadian Division, Canada’s Army in Ontario

“I am extremely proud of the nearly 40 women and men of 5th Canadian Division — Canada’s Army in Atlantic Canada — who are supporting 4th Canadian Division and deploying as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia. Our soldiers are strong, proud and ready to work alongside our Allies, building soldier-to-soldier relationships and mutual understanding that enhance NATO readiness and collective defence.

– Brigadier-General Derek Macaulay, Commander 5th Canadian Division, Canada’s Army in Atlantic Canada

“The men and women of 2 RCR, along with the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and air women who have joined us from other units across the Canadian Armed Forces, are honoured to represent Canada in Latvia. We are prepared and ready to fulfill the commitment of which we have been asked.”

– Lieutenant-Colonel Sean French, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment

Quick Facts

  • The majority of soldiers deploying are from 4th Canadian Division in Ontario and approximately 40 soldiers are from 5th Canadian Division in Eastern Canada.

  • The Canadian Armed Forces is contributing about 450 troops to the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia, including headquarters staff, an infantry company with Light Armoured Vehicles, military police, and logistical and communications support.

  • Since 2014, Canada has actively participated alongside our NATO Allies in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe in measures to maintain security and stability through training, exercises, and other operational tasks.

  • This deployment is part of Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ support to NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture in Central, Eastern and Northern 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. Latvia was the first European Union (EU) Member State to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, which recently came into force.

Associated Links

Contacts

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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