August 30, 2017 5:57 pm
Updated: August 30, 2017 5:58 pm

Final rotation of soldiers returns to Edmonton from NATO-led operation in Poland

Private Sergey Kannin, a member of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment reunites back with his wife Iryna after returning from OPERATION REASSURANCE, Rotation 7 at 3rd Canadian Division Support Base, Edmonton on August 27, 2017.

Supplied by DND, Photograph by Robert Schwartz, Garrison Imaging, 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton.

After spending six months in Poland to take part in Operation Reassurance, 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces – mostly from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry out of Canadian Forces Base Edmonton – returned to Canada on Wednesday.

The Land Task Force (LTF) was in the eastern European country to take part in military exercises to “improve interoperability with allies and demonstrate NATO’s resolve to protect Alliance territories and partners,” according to the Canadian Armed Forces.

“The soldiers we welcome home today proudly represented Canada while training alongside NATO allies and partners in Europe over the past six months,” Col. William Fletcher, commander of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, said in a statement. “I’d like to thank these troops for their professionalism and diligent work while deployed, as well as their families for their sacrifice and steadfast support of loved ones while overseas.”

Master Warrant Officer Clay Shoepp a member of 3rd Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry hugs his son upon returning from OPERATION REASSURRANCE,

Supplied by DND, Photograph by Robert Schwartz, Garrison Imaging, 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton.

Operation Reassurance involves military activities the Canadian military has been involved with in various parts of eastern and central Europe since 2014.

READ MORE: Edmonton-based soldiers head to Poland for NATO mission

Watch below: On Feb. 22, 2017, Kent Morrison filed this report as 100 Canadian soldiers were headed to Poland as part of Operation Reassurance.

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“These efforts support NATO assurance and deterrence measures with the aim of reassuring nations in the region of NATO’s commitment to support their stability and security,” the Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement.

In February, federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the deployment was an important move for “building cohesion with our NATO allies.”

The Edmonton soldiers who arrived Wednesday were the last to return to Canada from the deployment. The first group returned on Sunday.

Some of the equipment used by the military in Poland will now be moved to Latvia where Canadian soldiers are leading the “enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup” to support NATO’s conflict-prevention strategy in eastern and central Europe.

READ MORE: New best friends? Canada and Latvia have some ties, but some work to do

Watch below: On July 9, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into detail about why Canada decided to send its troops to Latvia and what that would do to improve the relationship between the two countries.

“The Land Task Force members are proud and honoured to have served in Poland,” Maj. Michael Brooks, commander of the Land Task Force, said in a statement. “Their hard work has increased the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to work alongside other NATO nations and enhanced the esprit-de-corps amongst the soldiers that make up this alliance.”

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