The Canadian Armed Forces’ mission in Poland came to a close after three years when the final rotation of soldiers of the Land Task Force (LTF) in Poland returned home to Canada this week.
The rotation, made up of 200 soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry out of Canadian Forces Base Edmonton, Alberta, had been deployed to the Eastern European country for the last six months on Operation REASSURANCE.
“The soldiers we welcome home today proudly represented Canada while training alongside NATO Allies and partners in Europe over the past six months. I’d like to thank these troops for their professionalism and diligent work while deployed, as well as their families for their sacrifice and steadfast support of loved ones while overseas,” said Col. William Fletcher, Commander, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade.
Canada first deployed the LTF to Poland in May 2014. Over the years, soldiers part of the LTF have taken part in a number of military exercises throughout the region to improve interoperability with NATO partners.
During their six month stay in Poland, the last LTF took part in Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT VI in Hohenfels, Germany; Exercise PLATINUM EAGLE 17-2 hosted by the Romanian Land Forces in the Babadag Training Area, Romania; Exercise SPRING STORM in Estonia from May 9 to 24, 2017; Exercise SABRE STRIKE from June 4 to 15, 2017, in Orzysz, Poland; and Exercise SABER GUARDIAN.
“The Land Task Force members are proud and honoured to have served in Poland. Their hard work has increased the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to work alongside other NATO nations and enhanced the esprit-de-corps amongst the soldiers that make up this Alliance,” said Maj. Michael Brooks, Commander, Land Task Force Poland.
Canada will continue to support NATO Allies in the region by leading the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup (eFP BG), which was stood up in June 2017 at Camp Ādaži, Latvia.
Some of the equipment from LTF Poland will be transferred to Latvia in support of the eFP BG.
Canada is one of four Framework Nations supporting NATO’s goal of sustainable peace in Eastern and Central Europe.