eFP Sig Sqn – Article from Sgt Bickerstaffe


Signaling in the Baltics

As a signaler attached to the eFP Signal Squadron at Camp Adazi, Latvia, I bear witness to the work that Canada and its allies have done to ensure outside aggressors (seen and unseen) do not pose a threat to world peace. That includes COVID-19.

Op REASSURANCE is a prime example of the commitment and willingness to defend against threats of foreign actors, maintain peace, and ensure global prosperity. The citizens of the Republic of Latvia, the Dominion of Canada, and the global populace can rest assured that if Latvia is attacked, the allies that the Latvians have invited on their soil are ready to fight as if it was their home. Patriotism and morale are high amongst one another in the entire Battle Group. As COVID-19 poses a significant challenge to the world, here with NATO it has not only made us stronger; it has unified us all.

Throughout this tour, my personal goal is to ensure interoperability between nations and strengthen unity within NATO. I may be one small piece of a large puzzle, but I will work with every member at every level of the Chain of Command, in any organization. What this means on the side of communications is to ensure that we can communicate flawlessly with our allies on this mission. Working in such a diverse and collaborative environment has been rewarding and has assisted with moving towards my goal of being more interoperable which, in turn, has brought more unity with our partners. One major project I am working on is being able to communicate with coalition ships in the Baltic Sea. Having this ability to communicate with Allied sailors will greatly assist with the defense of our Latvian allies.

We are training alongside our fellow Allied soldiers, adapting to their tactics and techniques while coming up with innovative solutions. Every soldier deployed on this tour continues to expand their knowledge of their craft. With signalers, communicating on a unified joint network with our partners has been a rewarding challenge. The experience I have personally gained has enabled me to be a more effective soldier; and it has made me grow as a person. If my fellow Canadians back home could see our soldiers in action, they would no doubt be proud of us. We are professional. We are proud. We are Canadian. #WeAreNATO.

Written by Sgt Brock Bickerstaffe

About the author

Sergeant Brock Bickerstaffe is the current Chief Communications Operator of the eFP Signal Squadron deployed on Op REASSURANCE in Adazi, Latvia. He was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. He enrolled in the Canadian Armed Force in November 2008. His first posting outside of the training system was to the Canadian Forces Joint Signal Regiment, and then in July 2018 he was posted to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron at CFB Valcartier. Soon after, he was posted to 34 Signals Regiment in Westmount, Quebec for a brief period. In Aug 2020 was posted to his current home unit with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment at CFB Gagetown. He has previously deployed to Op ATTENTION in Kabul, Afghanistan from June 2013 to January 2014, and twice to Op IMPACT at Ali Al Salem Airbase in Kuwait from October 2014 to April 2015 and November 2018 to March 2019. He has also conducted taskings on; Op SNOWGOOSE in Cyprus (March 2013); Op FOUNDATION in Bahrain (December 2015); Op REASSURANCE in Latvia (September 2016); and Op DISTINCTION operating in Mons, Belgium and Vimy, France (April 2017).

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