Contributed by: Maj Jeremy Chubbs, A/JEngr, Task Force Latvia Headquarters (TFL HQ) Canadian Armed Forces
As the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Latvia framework nation (FN), Canada’s contribution to the security of the Baltic Nations and Poland (3B +P) goes well beyond regional troop commitments. Canada is committed to investing in key infrastructure requirement that will greatly benefit eFP Latvia’s operations, thus increasing deterrence. Those investments aimed at infrastructure improvements are implemented at the Latvian base, Camp Ādaži, where the eFP is stationed.
On 15 June 2022, the day which marked the 5th year anniversary of the eFP Latvia, the Canadian Ambassador to Latvia, Mr Kevin Rex, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of three major infrastructure projects at Camp Ādaži. The three projects, which are included in the Area E&S program of projects include project A032-Roads upgrades and marshalling area, A034-New Canadian warehouse facility and A036-Upgrade Spanish compound.
In attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony was the Task Force Latvia Deputy Commander, LCol Jeremie Gauvreau, the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander, Col Sandris Gaugers, the Defence Construction Canada (DCC) President and CEO, Mr. Derrick Cheung, as well as DCC VP Operations and Regional Manager. Other key personnel from the Task Force Latvia JEngr team, Engineer Support Squadron, DCC and the three contractors for the projects participated in the ceremony.
Project A032- Roads upgrades and marshalling, a €4.9M EUR ($6.5M CAD) contract with SIA Newcom, involves the construction of four new concrete roads, the addition of utilities such as power, water, wastewater and communication as well as greatly improving the drainage in the eFP’s operational area. By extending access to local power to the area of Camp Ādaži, Canada and other sending nations (SN) under the Canadian-led eFP will virtually remove the requirement for diesel powered generators as such reducing the cost associated with power generation and greatly reduce the environmental footprint. Improving the drainage issues will reduce the costs associated with remediation and will improve operations for the eFP as a whole. The marshalling area will be critical to the eFP for the conduct of alert exercises where it is required to organize and prepare to support Latvia in the defence of its territory.
Project A034-New Canadian warehouse facility, a €3.2M EUR ($4.3 CAD) contract with SIA Abora, will see the construction of a new warehouse for the Technical Services Company (Tech Svcs Coy) of the Canadian National Support Element (NSE). The warehouse will include office space, climate controlled and dry storage which will replace sea containers that are currently used for storage. The new warehouse will improve operations by greatly improving material management and will offer a centralized work area for the Tech Svcs Coy. The climate-controlled storage will also reduce the requirement for refrigerated containers that are currently used, reducing fuel consumption and once again reducing our environmental footprint.
Project A036- Upgrade Spanish compound, a €3M EUR ($4.8M CAD) contract with SIA Arcers, not only represents the expansion of the Spanish compound which is required to support their increased commitment to the eFP BG but will also see an improved area for the Canadian troops from the eFP BG. It is important to note that the expansion of the Spanish compound will be managed by Canada as the FN but will be funded by Spain. The project includes the construction of a permanent warehouse facility for Canadian troops which will not only improve Canada’s ability to maintain their operations, it also demonstrates Canada’s leadership as the FN, ensuring each SN’s requirements are met.
As a part of these initiatives, the Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Mr. Kevin Rex, announced the ground breaking of the three projects, with a combined value of approximately 11 million Euros (or ~15 million CAD). In attendance was the Task Force Latvia Deputy Commander, LCol Jeremie Gauvreau, the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander, Col Sandris Gaugers, the Defence Construction Canada (DCC) President and CEO, Mr. Derrick Cheung, as well as DCC VP Operations and Regional Manager. Representatives from the respective contractors for each project, SIA Newcom, SIA Arcers, and SIA Abora, were also present to highlight their contributions. DCC’s presence was especially important as they are critical to all Canadian infrastructure projects in Latvia. The Engineer Support Squadron from the NSE work hand in hand with DCC from inception to delivery of all infrastructure projects in Latvia. During his presence, Mr. Derrick Cheung reaffirmed DCC’s support to Canada’s Armed Forces efforts in Latvia.