New Brunswick

CFB Gagetown members deployed to Latvia

A group of about 50 members of 4 Engineer Support Regiment were deployed to Latvia on Saturday as part of Operation Reassurance.

4 Engineer Support Regiment will build 'small town' for 500 soldiers

A member of the 4 Engineer Support Regiment’s vertical construction squadron conducts camp construction training in preparation for the group’s deployment to Latvia. (Submitted by Warrant Officer Jerry Kean/5 Cdn Div HQ Public Affairs)

A group of about 50 combat engineers based at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown were deployed to Latvia on Saturday as part of Operation Reassurance.

The operation is part the Canadian Armed Forces' three-year commitment to NATO to promote security and stability in central and eastern Europe.

The soldiers of 4 Engineer Support Regiment, who specialize in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure used during military operations, will be helping to build what commanding officer Lt.-Col. Chris Cotton says is a small town for the 500 soldiers that will be based there during the operation.

It will have "everything you would expect in a small town — from its kitchen to its quarters, its electrical distribution system, water distribution system, internet, gym facilities — that would allow people to survive over the long term in Latvia," he said.

Training in Bathurst

The largest group left CFB Gagetown on Saturday to join the initial group already in Latvia doing design work for the camp. 

Cotton said those deployed were part of a training exercise in Bathurst last year, Ex Nihilo Sapper 2016. 

"The Bathurst training event was a training opportunity to practise some of the exact same skill sets that they are now translating into actual effect in Latvia," he said.