Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia welcomes new Commander
Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe Sauvé took command of the Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia from Lieutenant-Colonel Steve MacBeth at a parade presided over by Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command at Camp Ādaži in Latvia on January 9, 2019.
“As the new Commanding Officer, I look forward to leading this professional Battle Group over the next six months,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Sauvé. “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 forge ahead.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Sauvé’s arrival also signals the deployment of approximately 540 soldiers from 2 Canadian Division to replace the previous rotation of soldiers from 4 Canadian Division who are returning home after their deployment to Latvia.
Over the past six months, the Battle Group participated in five major exercises, nine minor exercises, and three international exercises. Among those training events are the following highlights:
- Exercise NAMEJS (August 24-31, 2018): The Battle Group joined 10,000 soldiers in this exercise organized by Latvia’s National Armed Forces as the culmination of Latvian National Armed Forces’ four-year joint training cycle. It also served as the Battle Group’s certification exercise.
- Exercise TOMAHAWK RAIDER (September 9-28, 2018): Battle Group soldiers conducted helo-casting in the Baltic Sea near Ventspils in partnership with the 4th Brigade of the Latvian National Guard, the Latvian Navy, and Black Hawk helicopters from the United States Army Task Force Comanche North Aviation Detachment, based in Lielvārde.
- Exercise TOMAHAWK SOARING (September 28 – October 11, 2018): Soldiers conducted helicopter insertions into Meza-Mackevici aboard U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters and trained with the 3rd Brigade of the Latvian National Guard.
- Exercise IRON TOMAHAWK (October 23, 2018): Tanks from all four NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups – fifteen tanks in total – took part in a competition shoot. The event culminated with a day and night shoot.
- Exercise TOMAHAWK KNOCKING (November 3-16, 2018): The Battle Group’s contribution to NATO’s ANAKONDA LIVEX. The Battle Group was deployed across the entirety of the Baltic States, spanning 3,202 kilometres.
- Exercise TOMAHAWK PATROLLING (November 27 – 6 December, 2018): The Battle Group integrated the 2nd Brigade of the Latvian National Guard and operated across various environments in both mounted and dismounted roles in eastern Latvia.
In addition to all the exercises, the Albanian Explosive Ordinance Disposal Platoon uncovered over 1,000 pieces of unexploded ordinance over the course of the rotation. Battle Group engineers from Spain also conducted 150 Military Load Classification bridge inspections throughout Latvia, and shared this data with Latvia’s Ministry of Transportation. The Battle Group also grew by one nation in December with the addition of Montenegro which contributes a section of reconnaissance soldiers.
“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done over the past six months. We have improved our interoperability as a Battle Group and strengthened our partnership with the Latvian National Armed Forces through a rigorous training cycle,” said Lieutenant-Colonel MacBeth, who assumed command in July 2018.
The eFP Battle Group in Latvia is made up of military personnel from Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The Battle Group is integrated with the Latvian Mechanized Brigade Group and works hand-in-hand to deter, and if necessary, defend the people of Latvia from any potential aggression.
- Date modified: