Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 27, 2006 16:21 ET

DND: Exercise Maple Arch 2006 Concludes Successfully

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 27, 2006) - The closing ceremonies for Exercise Maple Arch 2006 were held today at the military training base in Rukla, Lithuania, with soldiers and distinguished visitors from the four participating nations.

In the morning, troops from Canada, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine conducted a demonstration of their military skills in realistic scenarios based on actual operational events in Afghanistan. A ceremonial parade was held in the afternoon. In attendance were dignitaries from the four participating nations, including Canadian Deputy Minister of National Defence Ward Elcock, and Lithuanian Minister of Defence Juozas Olekas.

It was also announced by the Director of Canada's Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP), Mr. Andrew Rasiulis, that an agreement had been reached to continue Exercise Maple Arch in the future.

"I'd like to congratulate the soldiers for the professionalism, skills and spirit of co-operation they've shown today." said Mr. Elcock. "And now, under our new agreement, Exercise Maple Arch will evolve into a truly cooperative initiative, with each of our four nations contributing resources, skills and experience."

Canadian, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian troops conducted Exercise Maple Arch 2006 from October 13-27, training light infantry skills across a variety of Peace Support Operations settings to improve military interoperability at the individual and multinational small unit level. Exercise Maple Arch 2006 was sponsored by Canada's Military Training Assistance Program, which funds several such multi-national initiatives and thus advances Canada's contribution to international peace and security.

NOTE FOR THE EDITOR:

Information and imagery associated with this exercise are posted on the following website: http://www.kam.lt

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