1 RCHA Soldiers Deploy Days Before Christmas on Operation REASSURANCE

Above image: On December 7, 2022, 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery members deployed as part of Operation REASSURANCE over the holiday season. Image courtesy of CAF. Photos by: MCpl B.J. Liddy, CFB Shilo Base Imagery.

Miles and miles away from loved ones, more than 800 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were deployed as part of Operation REASSURANCE over the holiday season.

The soldiers deployed to Eastern and Central Europe to support NATO’s presence, posture, deference and defence measures in the region.

Amongst these soldiers were members of 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, who left CFB Shilo on Dec. 7.

Soldiers from the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, conduct a fire mission at the 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Detachment Wainwright training area on October 22, 2022. Photo by: Corporal Djalma Vuong-De Ramos, Canadian Armed Forces photo.

Where are they?

The troops deployed over the holidays were split into two primary locations.

Many of the CAF soldiers are primarily deployed to Camp Adazi, Latvia, as part of the Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (eFP Latvia). Led by Canada, this eFP consists of eight other nations and trains as part of the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade to promote stability and security, present a deterrent to any adversaries, and refine their ability to conduct defensive operations.

The remaining 60 or so soldiers are stationed at Prestwick, Scotland, as part of Air Task Force Prestwick (ATF-P). ATF-P has become a main hub of transportation for the CAF that supports CAF operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Members of the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA) hold an M777 Howitzer shooting range practice during a trial for Canadian Army Trial and Evaluation Unit, Gagetown (CATEU) at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba on February 8, 2022. Photo by: Corporal Stéphanie Labossière, Canadian Armed Forces photo.

Celebrating the holidays

Deploying over the holiday season means these soldiers will have to find a way to celebrate this special time of the year in their own way.

“Each member will recognize or celebrate the season according to their own beliefs and traditions,” said a Canadian Joint Operations Command spokesperson.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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