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Edmonton-based soldiers head to Poland for NATO mission

Click to play video 'Canadian soldiers deployed to Poland' Canadian soldiers deployed to Poland
WATCH ABOVE: One-hundred Canadian soldiers are on their way to Poland tonight as part of Operation Reassurance, a training mission alongside other NATO countries. But with tensions in Russia looming, the soldiers could play an important role. Kent Morrison reports – Feb 22, 2017

A group of Edmonton-based Canadian Army soldiers are about to take part in a NATO-led operation in Poland.

Members of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, based in the Alberta capital, departed for Poland Wednesday in support of Operation Reassurance.

They will join other members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) already deployed in central and eastern Europe to help with NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures. The CAF says as part of Operation Reassurance it will be conducting training, exercises, demonstrations and other other assigned tasks from NATO.

READ MORE: Soldiers from Edmonton’s 3rd Canadian Division deploy to Ukraine

The federal government says the support of the CAF will help promote security and stability in the region and puts the forces in a position of leadership.

“Canada maintains a strong commitment to building cohesion with our NATO allies and to operating within the Alliance,” said federal minister of defence Harjit Sajjan.

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“Under Operation Reassurance, the Canadian Armed Forces provides continued support to our NATO partners through participation in multi-national exercises and training activities.”

Until early March, some 200 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry will relieve brigade members, who will be returning home in the coming weeks. During their six-month deployment to Poland, the soldiers will be partaking in several multi-national interoperability exercises with other NATO allies.

READ MORE: Future uncertain as Edmonton soldiers head to Ukraine

CAF personnel have been deployed to eastern and central Europe since 2014, in response to growing unrest in eastern Ukraine and tensions with Russia. CAF members have worked with American, Polish and other NATO allies in various training events.

Members of the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group say they are “ready to fight and win on the modern battlefield. We are intelligent, tough and compassionate, serving as an example to all with whom we interact.”