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    2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) Commander Colonel Jason Adair welcomed back the troops on New Year’s Day after they spent six months in Latvia on Operation Reassurance. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    It was a happy reunion on Jan. 1 when soldiers returned home to the loving embrace of their families. Corporal Randy Grills stands proudly with his daughters Aliyah and Addison. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    It was a tearful yet joyful reunion for Corporal Richard Courville and his son Brody. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    It was a tearful yet joyful reunion for Corporal Richard Courville and his son Brody. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Friends Gabrielle Welsh-Nisan and Connor and Parker Williams eagerly wait inside Y-101 for the bus carrying their respective fathers to arrive. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Corporal Marc-Andre Boudria is warmly hugged by his girlfriend Marie Eve Lasalle. His parents also came to greet him after his long deployment. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Corporal Steven Martin’s son Wyatt was ecstatic to have his father home. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



2 CMBG soldiers home from Latvia on New Year’s Day

By Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post

Posted on Thursday January 10, 2019

GARRISON PETAWAWA – One hundred and fifty Canadian Armed Forces personnel from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) were welcomed home Jan. 1, returning from Latvia and their work on Operation (Op) REASSURANCE and the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group (eFP BG), Canada’s ongoing contribution to the NATO mission of deterrence in the Baltics.

It marked the first chalk of the 540 soldiers scheduled to return by the end of January. They were received by family and friends at a ceremony held at the home of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, at Garrison Petawawa. The bulk of Canadian soldiers returning from this rotation are from 2 CMBG.

“I have watched with pride, alongside all ranks of 2 CMBG, the accomplishments of the eFP Battle Group deployed to Latvia over the past six months,” said 2 CMBG Commander Colonel Jason Adair. “The impact that this force has had is immeasurable as they held the line on NATO’s Eastern Flank in concert with the Latvian Armed Forces and our NATO Allies.

“This Battle Group will long be known as one of ‘thought’ and of ‘action’, simultaneously cohering Allies and providing credible deterrent. In short, they have exemplified the 2 CMBG mantra of being ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy,’” he added.
“I wish all a safe and enjoyable holiday season and earnestly welcome you home. Happy New Year.”

Deployments under Op REASSURANCE are scheduled to continue until March, 2023. The next rotation from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from Valcartier, Québec is already in theatre.

The EFP BG in Latvia is led by Canada, the Framework Nation, and is currently comprised of eight nations: Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. It is flanked by three other NATO eFP BGs in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland which were placed after a unanimous decision by NATO nations after the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Op REASSURANCE is currently in its 11th rotation led by Lieutenant Colonel Philipe Sauvé from the 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada.

“I am extremely proud of the contribution that Canadian soldiers have made over the past six months in Latvia,” said Outgoing EFP BG Latvia Commander Lieutenant Colonel Steve MacBeth. “It was an honour to work alongside our Latvian hosts and friends, and such professional soldiers from so many NATO nations. They have set an outstanding example and shown a true commitment to peace in the region.”