12:29 Jul. 8, 2016
Liberal government renews commitment to provide 6 CF-18 fighter jets for NATO mission
A battle group of Canadian soldiers will soon deploy to Latvia, taking with them significant equipment to provide a credible deterrence against further Russian expansionism in eastern Europe, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will tell NATO leaders on Friday.
In addition, the Liberal government has renewed a commitment to provide six CF-18 fighter jets for air policing duties over the Baltic states, a mission the air force last conducted in 2014.
It will also continue the deployment of a navy frigate as part of NATO's standing task force, something that was first ordered by the former Conservative government.
The Trudeau government last week signalled its willingness to join the military alliance's high-readiness land brigade that's being assembled to defend the tiny Baltic states and Poland, but it was left to the prime minister to brief other western leaders on Friday about what precisely Canada was prepared to bring to the table.
"Canada is playing a strong, constructive role in the world," Trudeau said in a written statement.
The contribution is being described in military circles as a "framework battalion," meaning Canada will provide the backbone of one of four combat formations. Three other nations — the U.S., Britain and Germany — will create their own battalions.