New commander for NATO's Latvia-based battle group

January 9 will see a change in the top brass of NATO's enhanced forward presence in Latvia with Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe Sauvé taking over command from his Canadian compatriot Lieutenant-Colonel Steve MacBeth, thereby concluding the rotation of the third group of troops deployed in Latvia, Latvia's Defense Ministry reported.

In an interview with a French-language Canadian news site immediately prior to his departure for Latvia, Sauvé said troops would need to be on their guard against disinformation during their deployment, but "if there is disinformation, we have people who pay attention to that and if there is any, we will respond with credible information and explain what we are really doing on this mission." 

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NATO presence in Baltics

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The multinational battle group in Latvia is based at Camp Ādaži, is led by Canada and consists of approximately 1,400 soldiers from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Canada, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain who perform rotational duties in Latvia by participating in training with Latvia's own National Armed Forces.

The alliance decided to beef up its presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states following Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and subsequent actions in Donbas. 

Allies implemented the 2016 Warsaw Summit decisions to establish NATO’s forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and to develop a tailored forward presence in the Black Sea region.

 

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