Following their deployment on Operation REASSURANCE a hundred soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (3 RCR) arrived home from Poland on December 11. Although a day late, excited family and friends gathered to greeted them at Garrison Petawawa.
“It’s great to have them home. They have been doing great work over there. Beyond their technical prowess, the way they interacted with the locals in Poland was exceptional. They were great ambassadors for our country, doing terrific work,” said Colonel Peter Dawe, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Commander (CMBG). “It’s great to see them back in time for Christmas.”
While in Poland the soldiers worked closely with NATO allies including Poland, Germany and the United States. The 3 RCR Oscar Company is part of 2 CMBG, based in Garrison Petawawa.
“A benefit of the mission was the opportunity the soldiers had to garner an understanding of interoperability with their NATO allies. They garnered an introspective look on the standard of soldiering they have. It helped them to grow as soldiers,” explained Dawe.
The soldiers returning to Garrison Petawawa had been deployed to Poland for three months. There is a high probability another company will be replacing them in the future.
“This deployment we had a lot of new privates with us. This was their first time on such an exercise. They learned how to operate in Europe. It was a great experience,” said Capt. Allan Cluett, 2RCR. “As part of cultural sensitivity training we visited Krakow, Auschwitz. You never forget that.”
Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces to support NATO reassurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.
Canada is among the strongest international supporters of Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms. Together, with NATO allies, Canada continues to call on Russia to follow through on its Geneva commitments to de-escalate the crisis.
In the face of ongoing Russian military aggression and illegal occupation, Canada has taken a number of steps to support the Ukrainian people as they work to restore political and economic stability, including imposing sanctions against those responsible for the ongoing crisis. Canada has also taken steps to enhance the readiness of NATO through a number of reassurance measures to reinforce the Alliance’s collective defence. Canadian soldiers have been training and working with NATO allies as part of Operation REASSURANCE since early May of 2014.
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