Canadian Army hosted Commander of Latvian Land Force

News release

March 22, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Army hosted the Commander of Latvian Land Force, Colonel Ilmārs A. Lejiņš, this week in Ottawa and Petawawa, Ontario. The visit enhanced the bilateral military relationship between the Canadian and Latvian armies beyond NATO’s multilateral collaboration occurring within the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG).

The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed about 450 troops per rotation to the Canadian-led eFP BG Latvia, including headquarters staff, an infantry company with Light Armoured Vehicles, military police, as well as logistical and communications support. The Battlegroup is training with the Latvian Land Force Infantry Brigade, with which it will work hand-in-hand to deter aggression and, if necessary, help defend the people of Latvia.

Under Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, the Canadian Government commits to leading and contributing to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) efforts to deter and defend against potential adversaries in order to support global stability. As the lead nation of NATO’s eFP BG Latvia, Canada clearly demonstrates its commitment to supporting NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in Eastern Europe.

Colonel Lejiņš met with Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army, and other Canadian Army senior leaders during engagements at the Canadian Army Headquarters in Ottawa.

Colonel Lejiņš also visited 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa, primarily focussing on the units of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. During his visit, he met with elements of the next eFP BG that will deploy to Latvia and which will be led by the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

As part of the brigade visit, Colonel Lejiņš met with the soldiers preparing for the next rotation and observed training, readiness and mounting activities. Additionally, he visited elements of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, 2 Service Battalion, and the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, as the Canadian Army looks to further develop bilateral opportunities for army collaboration.


Additional multimedia

Colonel Ilmārs A Lejiņš, Commander of Latvian Land Force (centre left), with Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army (centre right), Sergeant First Class Arvis Mucenieks, Latvian Land Force Command Sergeant-Major (left), and Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond, Canadian Army Sergeant Major (right).
Colonel Ilmārs A Lejiņš, Commander of Latvian Land Force (centre left), with Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army (centre right), Sergeant First Class Arvis Mucenieks, Latvian Land Force Command Sergeant-Major (left), and Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond, Canadian Army Sergeant Major (right), during a visit by the Latvian Land Force delegation to the Canadian Army Headquarters on March 20, 2018, in Ottawa, Ontario. Colonel Lejins was invited to visit Canada to observe training and interact with Canadian Armed Forces soldiers in order to strengthen Latvian and Canadian relationships. Photo by: Sergeant Dwayne Janes, Directorate Army Public Affairs. ©2018 DND/MDN Canada.
Colonel Llmars Lejins, the Commander of Latvian Land Force, receives a briefing from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group on military equipment that the Canadian Army uses on deployment and on exercise during a visit to 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa on March 21, 2018.
Colonel Llmars Lejins, the Commander of Latvian Land Force, receives a briefing from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group on military equipment that the Canadian Army uses on deployment and on exercise during a visit to 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa on March 21, 2018. Colonel Lejins was invited to visit Canada to observe training and interact with Canadian Armed Forces members in order to strengthen Latvian and Canadian relationships. Photo by: Master Corporal Jennifer Evans, 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa. ©2018 DND/MDN Canada.

Quotes

“I’m extremely pleased to have hosted Colonel Lejiņš and to strengthen the already close and highly productive ties between our two countries. Opportunities to meet face-to-face enable both armies to highlight mutual interests and opportunities for future collaboration in order to further this relationship beyond the eFP BG partnership.”

Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army

“I’m very pleased to visit Canada to meet with our Canadian colleagues and firm NATO Ally. This visit presented great opportunities for our two armies to talk and share ideas about what the future holds with respect to ongoing collaboration and military training.”

Colonel Ilmārs A Lejiņš, Commander of Latvian Land Force

Quick facts

  • In response to a complex security environment, NATO enhanced its forward presence in Europe with four multinational battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, led by Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States respectively. 

  • The enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia aims to preserve peace and prevent conflict. Alongside other NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroups in Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland, the eFP Battlegroup Latvia supports NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture.

  • Canada enjoys excellent relations with Latvia. Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, and was 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.

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Contacts

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


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