Quebec Standard

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

As NATO strengthens its defenses, more Canadian soldiers reach Latvia

Quebec

Key takeaways: 

  • The recent arrival of soldiers from Quebec indicates the Canadian contingent at Camp Adazi numbers roughly 700.
  • Troops with the 5e Régiment d’artillerie légère from CFB Valcartier in Quebec took part in weapons training on April 11 at Adazi base in Latvia.

When Master Cpl. Josaphat Nicolas-Marchal reached for his deployment at the Adazi military base in Latvia in December; Western intelligence officials had just begun cautioning that Russia could be poised to raid Ukraine.

Now four months into the trooper’s rotation, NATO is trying to prevent Russia from launching other offensives and is strengthening the number of soldiers deployed in eastern Europe.

“It is very different for us because now we are near to what is occurring,” stated Nicolas-Marchal, who is usually stationed at CFB Valcartier in Quebec but has served once in NATO missions in Poland and Iraq. 

“Whatever happens can occur in Ukraine — or worldwide,” he said. “We can keep training together and be prepared if someone sends us somewhere.”

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Troops with the 5e Régiment d’artillerie légère from CFB Valcartier in Quebec took part in weapons training on April 11

Canadian contingent

The master corporal is one of about 700 Canadian soldiers stationed at Camp Adazi, a Western coalition military base and training range located 25 kilometers past Riga, Latvia’s capital. 

Canada’s military company in the nation increased last month when an artillery battery consisting of 120 soldiers and firearms came from Quebec. 

Given the high-security danger, Canada has extended its Latvia mission indefinitely. Latvia’s defense ministry informed CBC News that the government wishes to support the contingent further and set it as an actual “war-fighting unit.”

But as Latvia looks to strengthen its defenses, not everyone living near the base feels soothed by the growing number of soldiers — with some worrying it could make the province a bigger target for Russian aggression. When CBC News visited the base on Monday, many Canadian soldiers took part in weapons training. 

Source – cbc.ca

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