The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members deployed in Latvia will get a new headquarters building by the end of 2020. A ground-breaking ceremony took place on June 19th near the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters in Riga to signal the start of construction of the new structure.

Work on the $18.5 million Multi-National Headquarters building is set to begin in August 2019 and expected to be completed by November of 2020. According to a press release, the new building will house Task Force Latvia Headquarters, which is currently using the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters. This will enhance Task Force Latvia’s ability to accomplish its mission while easing the strain on its Latvian allies, who have accommodated them since their arrival in early 2017.

“The Task Force Latvia Headquarters building in Riga reinforces our strong bilateral relationship with Latvia, and reaffirms our commitment to NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence. “We will continue to work together to defend Latvia’s freedom.”

Ground-breaking ceremony on June 19th near the Latvian National Armed Forces’ Joint Headquarters in Riga. Image: Task Force Latvia Facebook

Task Force Latvia Headquarters provides national command and control for CAF personnel deployed with the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia (eFP), according to the press release. Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. The CAF have contributed 540 personnel, vehicles and equipment including a headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, and combat service support based at Camp Ādaži.

“The presence of the CAF in Latvia is a clear demonstration of Allied solidarity, determination and ability to defend our population and territory against any possible aggression,” said Dr Artis Pabriks, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. “Construction of the Task Force Latvia Headquarters demonstrates Canada’s commitment to Latvia and regional security. The new headquarters will contribute to cooperate more successfully with our National Armed Forces continuously improving our ability to operate together seamlessly.”

Canada has actively participated alongside our NATO Allies to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe since 2014, through partnering, training, exercises, and other operational tasks.

“This building will help us, our eFP partner nations, and our Latvian allies grow together for improving our capacity to assist in the defence of Latvia and the promotion of stability in the region,” said Colonel Josh Major, Commander, Task Force Latvia.

Canada has an excellent relationship with Latvia and was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia’s independence in 1991, and one of the first countries to ratify Latvia’s accession to NATO in 2004.