August 12, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The presence of the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup in Latvia is a clear demonstration of Allied solidarity, determination and ability to defend Latvia’s population and territory against any possible aggression.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is temporarily sending 100 additional military personnel, equipment, and support vehicles to Latvia to support the military exercises of US Army Europe, NATO’s eFP battlegroup in Latvia, and other NATO Allies as opportunities arise.
The CAF’s aim for deploying additional personnel and equipment is to support the defensive-focused training activities during the battlegroup’s upcoming exercises in the fall and to incorporate the capability in future training events.
This provision of equipment and specialist personnel highlights Canada’s ongoing commitment to support its Allies while enhancing the joint training of the multinational battlegroup within the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade. NATO eFP battlegroups in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland are defensive in nature, proportionate to the security environment, and aim to prevent conflict and preserve regional stability.
“The deployment of equipment and personnel to support exercises in Latvia is an outstanding opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to enhance the training environment of the battlegroup and demonstrates our robust interoperability within the Alliance.”
Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command
- The Canadian Army is sending an artillery battery made up of four M777 Howitzer guns and approximately 100 additional personnel to support training. When not required for training, the equipment will be stored in the Canadian compound at Camp Ādaži, Latvia, and the artillery personnel will return to Canada.
- An artillery battery is an Army combat arms sub-unit, which is made up of approximately 100 personnel with their large-caliber guns and ammunitions. Oftentimes, the battery is supported by forward observation parties, headquarters coordination and logistical cells. Its role is to coordinate and deliver indirect fire, typically in support of a infantry or armour units.
- The artillery battery will provide indirect fire during major training events including Exercise SILVER ARROW, a Latvian-led NATO exercise in October 2017.
- The artillery battery and support personnel are from the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, garrisoned at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba.