"The Canadian Armed Forces have sent an artillery battery to Latvia to improve the capacity of indirect fire support, which consists of approximately 100 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery soldiers, four M777 howitzers, combat support equipment and equipment to be used for training purposes," said a statement by the Latvian Ministry of Defense.
"By sending additional military equipment and soldiers to Latvia, the aim of the Canadian Armed Forces is to support the upcoming multinational battalion training in the autumn, including the 'nternational military exercise 'Silver arrow', as well as in further training," the ministry said.
The artillery battery is usually garrisoned at Shilo, Manitoba and is a Candian Army combat arms sub-unit, which is made up of approximately 100 personnel with their large-caliber guns and ammunitions. Oftentimes, the battery is supported by forward observation parties, headquarters coordination and logistical cells. Its role is to coordinate and deliver indirect fire, typically in support of a infantry or armour units.
When not required for training, the equipment will be stored in the Canadian compound at Camp Ādaži, and the artillery personnel will return to Canada.
"The deployment of equipment and personnel to support exercises in Latvia is an outstanding opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to enhance the training environment of the battlegroup and demonstrates our robust interoperability within the Alliance,” said Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, in a news release from the Canadian Armed Forces.
The M777 lightweight 155-mm towed howitzer is lighter and smaller, yet more powerful than any gun of its kind, according to information from the Canadian Armed Forces. The M777 weighs 9200 pounds compared to the M109 Howitzer at 49,940 pounds, making it highly mobile.
It can be equipped with a digital fire control system and loaded with munitions that use location data from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and an inertial navigation unit to steer to the target. The M777 can also be combined with Excalibur GPS-guided munitions, which allow accurate fire to 30 km.
It has a sustained rate of fire of 2 rounds per minute and a maximum rate of fire of 4 rounds per minute.