Colonel Ilmārs A. Lejiņš, the Commander of Latvian Land Force, receives a briefing from a member of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group on military equipment that the Canadian Army uses on deployment and on exercise during a visit to 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa on March 21. Colonel Lejiņš was invited to visit Canada to observe training and interact with Canadian Armed Forces members in order to strengthen Latvian and Canadian relationships. (Photo by Master Corporal Jennifer Evans, 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa)

Commander of Latvian Land Force visits Ottawa, Garrison Petawawa


Posted on Thursday March 29, 2018

OTTAWA - The Canadian Army hosted the Commander of Latvian Land Force, Colonel (Col) Ilmārs A. Lejiņš, last week in Ottawa and Petawawa.

The visit enhanced the bilateral military relationship between the Canadian and Latvian armies beyond NATO’s multilateral collaboration occurring within the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG).
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed about 450 troops per rotation to the Canadian-led eFP BG Latvia, including headquarters staff, an infantry company with Light Armoured Vehicles, military police, as well as logistical and communications support. The Battlegroup is training with the Latvian Land Force Infantry Brigade, with which it will work hand-in-hand to deter aggression and, if necessary, help defend the people of Latvia.

Col Lejiņš met with Lieutenant-General (LGen) Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army, and other Canadian Army senior leaders during engagements at the Canadian Army Headquarters in Ottawa.

 “I’m extremely pleased to have hosted Colonel Lejiņš and to strengthen the already close and highly productive ties between our two countries,” said LGen Wynnyk. “Opportunities to meet face-to-face enable both armies to highlight mutual interests and opportunities for future collaboration in order to further this relationship beyond the eFP BG partnership.”

Col Lejiņš also visited Garrison Petawawa, primarily focussing on the units of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. During his visit, he met with elements of the next eFP BG that will deploy to Latvia and which will be led by the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

 As part of the brigade visit, Col Lejiņš met with the soldiers preparing for the next rotation and observed training, readiness and mounting activities. Additionally, he visited elements of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, 2 Service Battalion, and the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, as the Canadian Army looks to further develop bilateral opportunities for army collaboration.

“I’m very pleased to visit Canada to meet with our Canadian colleagues and firm NATO Ally,” said Col Lejiņš. “This visit presented great opportunities for our two armies to talk and share ideas about what the future holds with respect to ongoing collaboration and military training.”

In response to a complex security environment, NATO enhanced its forward presence in Europe with four multinational battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, led by Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States respectively.

Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia’s independence in 1991, and was one of the first countries to ratify Latvia’s accession to NATO in 2004. Latvia was the first European Union (EU) Member State to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, which recently came into force.