Canadian Soldiers Participate in a Major Exercise in Europe as part of Operation REASSURANCE

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Article / September 16, 2015

About 1,500 military members, including 45 Canadian soldiers, are training at the Adazi military base in Latvia until September 30 as part of Exercise SILVER ARROW (Ex SA).

This is a major exercise providing members of the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (3 R22eR), and about twenty reservists, all deployed on Op REASSURANCE, with an opportunity to train alongside forces from Latvia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and the United States.

Our soldiers are proud to represent Canada in this unique environment,” stated Major Simon Côté, Commander, Land Task Force, Op REASSURANCE. “Exercise SILVER ARROW is helping us to develop interoperability with our NATO allies while improving our tactical capabilities.

Ex SA trains and exercises battalion groups and their formations in planning and conducting defensive operations in major combat scenarios in order to improve command and control, coordination and mutual support procedures during operations.

The first part of this exercise, which lasts 14 days, is dedicated to practical training among nations so that they can share standard operating procedures and learn to work together. Foreign equipment familiarization periods, team-building activities and a sports competition day are also planned.

The second part focuses more on the exercise itself, the purpose of which is to take a defensive position to protect a designated area and perform a relief in place.

Canadian soldiers, including reservists, do not practice defensive operations often because they take a great deal of time to plan, prepare and carry out,” added Lieutenant Francis Arseneault, Platoon Commander for the exercise. “This will give us an opportunity to practice how we do things with our NATO allies.

Ex SA also includes a large-scale chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) exercise involving CBRN reconnaissance and decontamination. Canada was chosen to participate in this exercise in cooperation with Germany.

The Germans are NATO’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear experts,” stated Warrant Officer Simon Frigon, 2 Platoon’s Second-in-Command. “This is a great opportunity to train with international experts and exchange our skills while contributing our know-how.

Therefore, this is an opportunity for Canadian Op REASSURANCE soldiers not only to enhance their knowledge and pass it on to their peers, but also to share their infantry, attack and planning expertise, as they proudly display Canada’s colours and values in Latvia.

Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to support NATO reassurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks. Operation REASSURANCE currently includes a Maritime Task Force (MTF), an Air Task Force (ATF) and additional staff officers reinforcing NATO and allied headquarters.

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