On New Years Day 150 soldiers from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) were welcomed home from Latvia. The troops were deployed on Operation (Op) REASSURANCE and the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG), Canada’s ongoing contribution to the NATO mission of deterrence in the Baltics.
Today marked the first chalk of the 540 soldiers scheduled to return by the end of January. The soldiers 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. 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.’ I wish all a safe and enjoyable holiday season and earnestly welcome you home. Happy New Year,” said Colonel Jason Adair, Commander, 2 CMBG in a press release.
Deployments under Op REASSURANCE are scheduled to continue until March 2023. The next rotation will be manned by soldiers from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from Valcartier, Québec. They are already in theatre in Latvia.
“I am extremely proud of the contribution that Canadian soldiers have made over the past six months in Latvia. 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,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Steve MacBeth, Outgoing Commander, enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia in a press release.
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.
The eFP BG in Latvia is flanked by three other NATO eFP BGs in Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland which were emplaced after a unanimous decision by NATO nations after the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Operation REASSURANCE is currently in its 11th rotation, led by Lieutenant Colonel Philipe Sauvé from the 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada.