CAF members deploy to continue mission in Latvia

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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2018


OTTAWA - Following months of training and preparation, approximately 450 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 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 (LCol) Sean French, Commanding Officer of 2 RCR, will assume command of the multinational battlegroup shortly after his arrival.

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

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.

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

he CAF 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 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.

“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,” said Brigadier-General Stephen Cadden, Commander 4th Canadian Division, Canada’s Army in Ontario. “My very best wishes go out to all of our members deploying and I thank their families for their support and dedication.”