A reconnaissance team of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is currently in Latvia to conduct an initial assessment of the necessary requirements to establish and sustain a multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. These preparations are in support of the CAF’s commitment to deploy troops and equipment to this European nation in 2017.
Led by Commodore Brian Santarpia, the visit will include a series of briefings and meetings with Latvia and other Allied officials. The Defence Team on this reconnaissance mission is comprised of members specializing in operational planning, policy, military training, logistics, medical, signals and communications, transport, and finance. The aim is to form recommendations that will help the CAF to successfully conduct the land-based Operation REASSURANCE mission in Latvia.
“Working with our Latvian and other NATO Allies, the skilled professionals of the Canadian Armed Forces bring years of experience and expertise to the table as they work to evaluate the requirements necessary to create a successful and sustainable operation,” said Commodore Santarpia, Director General Plans, Strategic Joint Staff.
Through its commitment to lead troops in Latvia, Canada will become one of four Framework Nation’s leading the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe.
The CAF intends to not only deploy land capabilities, it will also provide maritime and air components to Operation REASSURANCE. The CAF has been and will continue to deploy a frigate for exercises and operational tasks with NATO’s maritime forces based in NATO Maritime Command’s Areas of Responsibility. In addition, an Air Task Force, comprised of six CF-18 fighter aircrafts, crew, command staff and support personnel, will periodically conduct surveillance and air policing activities in the NATO Areas of responsibility along with training activities.
Canada’s commitment to lead a robust multinational NATO battlegroup is part of the Government’s renewed Operation REASSURANCE, the CAF’s support of NATO assurance and defence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Op. REASSURANCE includes operation and tactical level demonstrations, manoeuvres and enhanced interoperability between Canada and its Allies.
Image: Canadian soldiers open fire on their targets during an ambush training scenario at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland on August 4, 2016 during Operation REASSURANCE.