CAF breaks ground for new headquarters building in Latvia
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed in Latvia signalled the beginning of construction of a new headquarters building today with a ground-breaking ceremony near the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters in Riga.
"The Task Force Latvia Headquarters building in Riga reinforces our strong bilateral relationship with Latvia, and reaffirms our commitment to NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "We will continue to work together to defend Latvia’s freedom. Canada will remain a strong and reliable ally, now and into the future.”
The new building will house Task Force Latvia Headquarters who currently reside within the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters. This building will enhance Task Force Latvia’s ability to accomplish its mission while alleviating the burden on its Latvian allies, who have graciously made room for them since Task Force Latvia’s arrival in early 2017.
Task Force Latvia Headquarters provides national command and control for CAF personnel deployed with the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia (eFP). As the Framework Nation lead it is also responsible for supporting Canadian and NATO military objectives, coordinating with Latvian military authorities, and improving the integration of Canadian personnel and assets with NATO Allies in Latvia and the wider eFP region.
“Latvia is a full-fledged, trusted and reliable member of NATO. Our country not only receives security guarantees ensured by NATO, but we also contribute to international security in return," said Dr. Artis Pabriks, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. "Security and stability in Latvia as NATO external border, guarantees common security of the whole Alliance.The presence of the Canadian Armed Forces in Latvia is a clear demonstration of Allied solidarity, determination and ability to defend our population and territory against any possible aggression. Construction of the Task Force Latvia Headquarters demonstrates Canada’s commitment to Latvia and regional security. The new headquarters will contribute to cooperate more successfully with our National Armed Forces continuously improving our ability to operate together seamlessly.”
The Multi-National Headquarters building, the construction of which will cost an estimated $18.5 million Canadian dollars, is being designed by Latvian company Citrus Solutions. The building, which will start construction in August of 2019, will be built by Latvian firms with NewCom acting as primary contractor. Final fit-up and communications installations will be done by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel. The building is estimated to be completed in November of 2020.
This deployment is part of Operation REASSURANCE, the CAF support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. The assets deployed under Operation REASSURANCE represent Canada’s largest sustained presence in Europe in more than a decade.
As part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. Canada’s contribution of up to 540 personnel, vehicles and equipment includes a headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, and combat service support based at Camp Ādaži.
Since early 2017, the CAF have had personnel in Latvia to set the conditions for the June 19, 2017 stand-up of the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group at Camp Ādaži. Since that time, Task Force Latvia Headquarters conducted its work at the Latvian National Armed Forces Joint Headquarters building in Riga.
Since 2014, Canada has actively participated alongside our NATO Allies in measures to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe — through partnering, training, exercises, and other operational tasks.
Canada enjoys excellent relations with Latvia. Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, and one of the first countries to ratify Latvia's accession to NATO in 2004.