New Year's Day Homecoming In Petawawa

A Petawawa homecoming to ring in the New Year. 

150 soldiers from Petawawa's 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group arrived home yesterday from a six-month deployment in Latvia. 

They were welcomed in a ceremony on the Garrison with family and friends at the headquarters of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.  

This group is the first of 540 soldiers who are scheduled to return home over the course of this month under "Operation Reassurance", Canada's contribution to the ongoing NATO mission to watch out for trouble and deter aggression in the Baltics.  

Brigade group Commander Colonel Jason Adair told the soldiers they’ve had immeasurable impact holding the line with Latvian forces and NATO allies… and that the battle group will be known as one of “thought” and “action”, bringing allies together in the region.

"In short, they have exemplified the 2 CMBG mantra of being 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.' I wish all a safe and enjoyable holiday season and earnestly welcome you home. Happy New Year", Col Adair said.

The mission in Latvia is part of NATO's mission which began back in 2014 following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The Latvia battlegroup is one of four that are in place, with others in Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland.

The group in Latvia is being led by Canada, and is comprised of 8 countries:  Albania, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Deployments under "Operation Reassurance" are scheduled to continue until March 2023, with the next rotation being filled by soldiers from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from Valcartier, Quebec.  

Those soldiers are already in Latvia beginning their duties.