Soldiers from the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deployed to Latvia earlier this month.
The troops left Edmonton International Airport on January 8th, heading to Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE, a NATO mission involving the Canadian Armed Forces. Approximately 150 troops from Edmonton are taking part, alongside Canada’s NATO allies.
Commanding officer for the Latvia battle group, Lt.-Col. Eric Angell, has shared, “As the new Commanding Officer, it’s exciting,” he explained. “It’s an adventure. Getting to go meet people from other countries, and see what our NATO allies’ capabilities are while having the opportunity to work with them all. It’s exciting for many different reasons.”
The Latvia battle group will not only include Canadian Armed Forces but troops from other nations as well. The group total stands at approximately 1,400 soldiers.
“We are prepared for success thanks to the hard work done by the past rotations, and we look to build on those successes as we move forward,” added Lt.-Col. Angell.
Capt Bonnie Wilken, public affairs officer, is also excited for the future of Operation REASSURANCE.
“This is my second time in Latvia. The first time I was here it was for a six week task in the summer of 2018, and it was a fascinating experience,” she explained. “Just yesterday I met members of the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade that recognized me from my last deployment here, and it was really special to renew those friendships again. It’s been great to come back to Latvia and reacquaint myself with this country. I’m very excited to see what the future holds here.”
Above Image: Canadian Armed Forces members deployed with enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia prepare for Exercise WINTER REAPER at Camp Ādaži, Latvia, November 25, 2019.Photo: Corporal Djalma Vuong-De Ramos (photo courtesy Canadian Armed Forces)