Change of command for Operation REASSURANCE
The new commander of the Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force, Major Éric Beauchamp, assumed command from Major Simon Côté in Warsaw, Poland, last week. Hosted by Canada’s Ambassador to Poland, Stephen de Boer, the ceremony at the Canadian embassy was presided over by Colonel Pascal Demers, Canadian Defence Attaché.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) presence in the region demonstrates Canada’s commitment to work with NATO allies and react rapidly to international crises as part of Allied assurance measures to promote security in Central and Eastern Europe.
“The solidarity demonstrated between the Canadian Armed Forces and our allies demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our collective security and promoting safety and security in the region," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "I take pride in the skills and excellence the members of the Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force continue to exhibit while training with our partners in Europe.”
The incoming contingent of personnel consists of approximately 220 members predominantly from 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, which is part of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG) based at Valcartier Garrison, Que. Several other 5 CMBG and Reserve Force units are also contributing members to the contingent.
“Our soldiers have trained hard for this operation, and are looking forward to working with our military allies in Central and Eastern Europe," Major Beauchamp said. "Our colleagues from Rotation 4 leave us in a strong position to succeed and we will do our part to help strengthen NATO’s readiness.”
The outgoing Canadian Armed Forces personnel consisted of approximately 220 members predominantly from 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, which is also part of 5 CMBG. The soldiers, deployed for seven months, participated in six major exercises and many other training opportunities.
“I am extremely proud of the work accomplished and the level of training attained by all members of Rotation 4 over the past seven months in Europe," said Major Coté. "As we return to Canada, I am confident that the members of Rotation 5 will continue to enhance interoperability with our NATO allies in the coming months.”
Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by the CAF to support NATO assurance measures initiated in May 2014 through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.
Based in Poland, the Land Task Force conducts exercises alongside NATO counterparts throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Members of the CAF have been in the region since May 2014, and have participated in collective training exercises and partnership engagements with NATO allies in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Romania. The multi-national exercises provide opportunities to strengthen military relationships.