May 6, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander of the Canadian Army, and Chief Warrant Officer Stu Hartnell, the Canadian Army Sergeant-Major, concluded a visit to soldiers deployed on Operation PRESENCE in Mali and Operation REASSURANCE in Latvia.
During their first visit to Mali since the beginning of Operation PRESENCE, Lieutenant-General Lanthier and Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell met with Colonel Travis Morehen, Task Force Mali Commander, and saw first-hand how the Canadian Army soldiers deployed on this mission both protect Task Force Mali personnel and provide advanced combat first-aid during forward aeromedial evacuations.
The Army command team then travelled to Latvia to meet CAF soldiers deployed in support of NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures on Operation REASSURANCE. While there, Lieutenant-General Lanthier was honoured to participate in a parade on May 4 that marked the anniversary of the 1990 Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia.
During this visit, they also observed the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group’s participation in Exercise SPRING STORM, led by the Estonian Defence Forces. As well, they met with Major-General Indrek Sirel, Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, and Brigadier-General Georgs Kerlins, Deputy Chief of Joint Headquarters and Chief of Land Component of the Latvian Army to discuss current and future training being done between their respective nations.
Operation PRESENCE and Operation REASSURANCE fulfill Canadian Government commitments as outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy. Operation PRESENCE demonstrates Canadian support for UN peace operations in Mali through the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), whose mandate aims to protect civilians, support the peace process, promote the political process, defend human rights, and stabilize the country. Operation REASSURANCE displays Canada’s leadership in and contribution to NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture aimed at increasing security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.
“This trip allowed me once more to witness first-hand the breadth and depth of the skills and capabilities soldiers of the Canadian Army possess. Whether supporting UN peace operations or contributing to NATO’s deterrence efforts, our soldiers are well-trained and highly professional. No matter the terrain, situation or task at hand, members of the Canadian Army are ready to step up and do their job.”
Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander Canadian Army
Operation PRESENCE, CAF support to (MINUSMA), is part of the Government of Canada’s overall efforts to help set conditions for durable peace, development and prosperity in Mali.
The core mission of Operation PRESENCE is to provide MINUSMA with 24/7 capability to conduct medical evacuations of UN forces by air. CAF members also support MINUSMA headquarters, provide logistics support, transport troops, equipment and supplies. Approximately 250 CAF personnel are deployed on Operation PRESENCE.
CAF members serving on Operation REASSURANCE contribute to NATO’s collective defence in Central and Eastern Europe. The CAF is actively participating alongside our NATO Allies in measures to maintain security and stability in Europe and the Mediterranean – through forward presence and collaborative efforts in partnering, training and exercises.
At any time, there are up to 835 CAF members deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, including 540 CAF members leading the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia.