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Calgary soldiers ‘absolutely stoked’ to be joining NATO forces in Latvia

Calgary soldiers ‘absolutely stoked’ to be joining NATO forces in Latvia
WATCH: Twenty-five reserve soldiers with the Calgary Highlanders will be spending six months serving in Latvia. As Gil Tucker reports, it’s the biggest overseas operation involving Calgarians since Canadian forces left Afghanistan in 2014.

Twenty-five Calgary soldiers are heading to Eastern Europe to join NATO forces in Latvia.

It’s the biggest overseas operation involving Calgarians since Canadian troops pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014.

The 25 reserve soldiers are members of the Calgary Highlanders, leaving their families and jobs behind for six months of duty in Latvia.

READ MORE: Canadian soldiers leave Edmonton for Latvia to play role in ‘deterrence mission’ for NATO

“We are going to be doing exercises, to act as a deterrent,” Capt. Christopher Tucker said. “The Latvian government wants us there and Canada has stepped up to lead the mission in Latvia.”

The Highlanders will join 25 reserve soldiers from Edmonton to form a mortar platoon, becoming part of a group of 540 Canadian soldiers serving with NATO in Latvia.

WATCH BELOW (July 11, 2019): Some Edmonton soldiers departed for Latvia on Thursday as part of an ongoing NATO mission. Kent Morrison reports.

Edmonton soldiers depart for Latvia on Thursday
Edmonton soldiers depart for Latvia on Thursday

READ MORE: Former soldier sets out on ‘awesome journey’ to Mt. Kilimanjaro to support Calgary veterans

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The Calgary group has spent the past year training and developing their mortar capabilities.

“I am absolutely stoked and excited to be part of the rebuilding of this capability,” Tucker said. “And to be deploying this overseas — I’m so looking forward to being in Latvia.”

The Highlanders will leave from Edmonton on Sunday, Jan. 26.