The end of a big year of deployments for the Valcartier military base
A final contingent of 110 soldiers from Valcartier returned from Latvia on Tuesday, just in time to enjoy a summer vacation with the family. Their return to the fold closed a big year of deployments for the military base located north of Quebec.
At nearly six months in this northern European country, the military was greeted at Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City by the cries of joy of their children and the long kisses and accolades of their spouses.
“Most of the soldiers were their first mission, so a first mission is important. I hope they come out grow the professional side and personal, “says Lieutenant Colonel Philippe Sauve, commander of the 12 th Canadian Armored Regiment.
He who has led the mission to Latvia since January explains that the aim was to deter Russia’s expansionist aims and to prevent Latvia or the other Baltic countries from being invaded or threatened on their territory. The military trained jointly with eight other NATO nations to ensure “our interoperability and combat effectiveness,” says Lt.-Col. Sauvé.
The mission went as planned, without the geopolitical climate coming to change the situation. “There is no fight there. It’s just training right now, but it shows NATO’s solidarity, “says Sauvé.
In all, 540 Valcartier soldiers participated in this six-month mission.
The Valcartier troops are ending a year of high readiness, which began in July 2018. In addition to Latvia, soldiers returned this month from Mali and Niger.
About 150 soldiers from Valcartier are still in Ukraine for the UNIFIER operation, which also aims to contain the aims of Russia. Their return is scheduled for October.
Another contingent of 110 soldiers will come back in December from a mission in Iraq. Operation IMPACT aims to weaken and defeat Daesh (Islamic State) organization in a global coalition.
Of the 5,000 soldiers at the Valcartier base, more than 1,000 have been deployed abroad in the past year. The goal now will be to ensure their reintegration into the regular activities of the base and to facilitate their return to normal life.
National Defense is not too concerned about the consequences of the significant computer theft that has occurred in recent months at the Canadian Armed Forces Research Center in Valcartier.
“Right now, we have no reason to suspect an impact on national security,” says Daniel Le Bouthiller, head of media relations at National Defense in Ottawa.
Radio-Canada revealed Tuesday that Denis Leclerc, a former civilian employee of the Research Center, is suspected of stealing and destroying 30,000 computer files containing “sensitive” military information before retiring.
The military police opened an investigation last January and it is not over. So far, no charges are laid against Mr. Leclerc, a former ballistics technician.
The Canadian Armed Forces are also stingy with comments because the investigation is ongoing. “The discovery of the incident is a direct result of the vigilance of our team and its control of its data and information,” says Le Bouthiller.
According to the judicial document consulted by Radio-Canada, the missing files contained, among other things, photographs and videos of ballistic tests and tests, operating procedures, as well as ammunition purchase documents.