New Canadian Headquarters Building Opens in Latvia

News release

June 28, 2021 – Ottawa– National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) task force deployed in Latvia officially opened their new headquarters building today at a ceremony near the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters in Riga, Latvia.

The new building will house Task Force Latvia Headquarters which was previously located within the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters. This building will improve Task Force Latvia’s ability to accomplish its mission as NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Framework Nation in Latvia by boosting connectivity and providing the ability to host staff from other sending nations. It will also alleviate the burden on its Latvian allies, who have graciously made room for them since Task Force Latvia’s arrival in early 2017.

Task Force Latvia Headquarters provides national command and control for CAF personnel deployed with the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia (eFP Latvia). Given Canada’s leadership role as the Framework Nation for eFP Latvia, Task Force Latvia is also responsible for supporting Canadian and NATO military objectives, coordinating with military authorities from Latvia and all the countries contributing forces to eFP Latvia, and improving the integration of Canadian personnel and assets with NATO Allies in Latvia and the wider eFP region.

Quotes

"The new Task Force Latvia headquarters ensures that Canada can continue to lead as one of four Framework Nations supporting the multinational NATO effort in the Baltic region. This building will house Canada’s command and control capabilities for the Canadian-led NATO battlegroup in Latvia, and will provide reassurance to Canada’s allies that we are committed to NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe. We will continue to work together to defend Latvia’s freedom.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“The opening of the new Task Force Latvia Headquarters is an important milestone in our bilateral cooperation. Historically, Canada has always stood for Latvia’s independence, and continues to do so by effective actions in accordance with NATO’s deterrence policy. The ties between Latvia, Canada and other Allies are strong, and the new headquarters is one of many great examples of that.”

Dr. Artis Pabriks, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia

“This building is an important milestone in the maturation of our mission here and our relationship with our NATO Allies in Latvia. It will allow us to be more effective in the accomplishment of our tasks, facilitating interactions with all of our teammates in the region. I would like to thank our gracious hosts from Latvia who have greatly supported us thus far while this building was being designed and built. This building will help us, our eFP partner nations, and our Latvian allies grow together and develop our ability to assist in the defense of Latvia and the promotion of stability in the region.”

Colonel Jean-Francois Cauden, Incoming Commander, Task Force Latvia

Quick facts

  • The deployment of Canadian soldiers to Latvia is part of Operation REASSURANCE, the CAF support to NATO in Central and Eastern Europe. The assets deployed under Operation REASSURANCE represent Canada’s largest sustained presence in Europe in more than a decade.

  • As part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. Canada’s contribution of up to 540 personnel, vehicles and equipment includes a headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, and combat service support based at Camp Ādaži.  In addition to these soldiers who serve in Latvia for six month rotations, Canada has also posted approximately 25 military families to Riga for assignments of 2-4 years to work as part of the Task Force Latvia Headquarters.

  • On July 10, 2018, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the renewal of Canada’s contribution to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence until March 2023.

  • Since early 2017, the CAF have had personnel in Latvia to set the conditions for the June 19, 2017 stand-up of the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group at Camp Ādaži. Since that time, Task Force Latvia Headquarters conducted its work at the Latvian National Armed Forces Joint Headquarters building in Riga.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Associated links

Contacts

Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100
Email: Daniel.Minden@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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