A Technical Arrangement was signed between Canadian and Latvian military officials outlining the terms and conditions to govern the operation of the NATO Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Latvia on April 18.
The multinational eFP Battlegroup, as part of Operation REASSURANCE, will establish Canada’s largest sustained military presence on Allied territory since the early 1990s.
“This event brings us one step closer to the arrival of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Latvia, alongside our partners from Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. Our leadership of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup reaffirms our unwavering commitment to NATO and its goal of collective security,” said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Canada will commit a Land Task Force of up to 455 personnel including a battlegroup headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, combat service support, vehicles and equipment based in Latvia to support NATO’s eFP.
“I am pleased that Canada led battlegroup will be soon deployed in Latvia, and this arrangement is the basis of its successful deployment in our country and provision of host nation support for it. Latvia is a member of the strongest military alliance in the world, and the presence of Canada led battle group in Latvia will strengthen our security significantly,” said Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Defence Minister.
According to a Canadian Armed Forces press release, the Canadian-led eFP Battlegroup is defensive, proportionate and in accordance with NATO’s international commitments. It also further demonstrates Canada’s commitment to NATO’s deterrence and defence posture and security in Eastern and Central Europe.
“We will soon be deploying a sizable force to Latvia to strengthen NATO’s posture in Central and Eastern Europe. The women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces are among the best in the world, and I am confident our presence will effectively promote security and stability in the region,” said Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.
The Arrangement was signed by BGen. Bruce Ploughman, Chief of Staff Readiness Canadian Joint Operations Command, and BGen. Ivo Mogilnijs, Chief of Staff of the Joint Headquarters of the Latvian National Armed Forces during a ceremony in Riga, Latvia. The ceremony took place in the presence of is Excellency Alain Hausser, the Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, and BGen. (ret’d) Juris Kiukucāns, Executive Secretary for Military Capability Development, Latvian Ministry of Defence.