Canadian Army command team visits deployed troops in Latvia and Mali 

Today, Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander of the Canadian Army, and Chief Warrant Officer Stu Hartnell, the Canadian Army Sergeant-Major, concluded a visit to soldiers deployed on Operation PRESENCE in Mali and Operation REASSURANCE in Latvia.

 During their first visit to Mali since the beginning of Operation PRESENCE, Lieutenant-General Lanthier and Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell met with Task Force Mali Commander Colonel Travis Morehen and saw first-hand how the Canadian Army soldiers deployed on this mission both protect Task Force Mali personnel and provide advanced combat first-aid during forward aeromedical evacuations.

 The Army command team then travelled to Latvia to meet CAF soldiers deployed in support of NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures on Operation REASSURANCE. While there, Lieutenant-General Lanthier was honoured to participate in a parade on May 4 that marked the anniversary of the 1990 Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia.

Members of Task Force Mali provide force protection to Camp Castor during Operation PRESENCE on February 5, 2019.

Photo: Corporal François Charest, 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

 During this visit, they also observed the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group’s participation in Exercise SPRING STORM, led by the Estonian Defence Forces. 

As well, they met with Major-General Indrek Sirel, Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, and Brigadier-General Georgs Kerlins, Deputy Chief of Joint Headquarters and Chief of Land Component of the Latvian Army to discuss current and future training being done between their respective nations.

“This trip allowed me once more to witness first-hand the breadth and depth of the skills and capabilities soldiers of the Canadian Army possess. Whether supporting UN peace operations or contributing to NATO’s deterrence efforts, our soldiers are well-trained and highly professional. No matter the terrain, situation or task at hand, members of the Canadian Army are ready to step up and do their job,” stated Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander Canadian Army in a press release. 

 Operation PRESENCE and Operation REASSURANCE fulfill Canadian Government commitments as outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy. 

Operation PRESENCE demonstrates Canadian support for UN peace operations in Mali through the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), whose mandate aims to protect civilians, support the peace process, promote the political process, defend human rights, and stabilize the country. 

Operation REASSURANCE displays Canada’s leadership in and contribution to NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture aimed at increasing security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. There are up to 835 CAF members deployed on this Operation, including 540 CAF members leading the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia.

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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