Operation NATO Reassurance Receives Addl 125 Canadian Soldiers

By @ibtimesau on
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A U.S. second cavalry regiment soldier studies a map during the "Steadfast Javelin II" military exercise in the Lielvarde air base, September 6, 2014. NATO approved wide-ranging plans on Friday to boost its defences in eastern Europe, aiming to reassure allies nervous about Russia's intervention in Ukraine that the U.S.-led alliance will shield them from any attack. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Barely a week after Canada said it is mulling to expand its involvement in the Ukraine Russia crisis, it had deployed 125 soldiers to Poland to take part in an Operation Reassurance deployment. The soldiers will undergo NATO training for three months.

The soldiers came from the November Company Group, of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, a statement on Canadian government’s website said. The group is based in Garrison Petawawa, Ontario, the statement added.

The website further said Operation Reassurance refers to the military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces to support NATO reassurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.

Canadian soldiers from Petawawa were also in Europe in 2014, still part of the Operation Reassurance training that time. The latest deployment didn’t say to which countries the soldiers will be sent to.

A report by the Daily Observer said this marks the fourth time that troops from Petawawa were deployed to Eastern Europe as part of Operation Reassurance. Cheryl Gallant, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant and chairwoman of the Canada/NATO Parliamentary Association, was there at the site before the troops departed General Foulkes Barracks. She thanked them for their bravery and resolve to show solidarity with NATO and Eastern Europe, noting that the world has changed from a year ago when governments were seeking to cut defence spending.

It remains confidential what type of exercises the fourth group will engage it. The Daily Observer said the first three rotations involved airborne and airmobile exercises in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany. Apart from Canada, other NATO partners participating include the U.S., Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary.

In late February, Jason Kenney, federal defence minister, admitted Canada and Ukraine are currently “actively” discussing about deploying a military training mission to the battle-stricken country. Also in the same month, Canada said it will send 75 military trainers to Ukraine in March, reportedly to train their local counterparts in military intelligence, logistics and battlefield medical procedures.

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