Operation UNIFIER (Ukraine)
- Canada is steadfast in its commitment to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.
- We are making significant contributions to Ukraine’s security through the continued training efforts and expertise of Canadian Armed Forces members, including by training 33,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces.
- That is why we have approved the extension and enhancement of Operation UNIFIER until March 2025.
- As part of this effort, we will deploy up to an additional 60 Canadian Armed Forces members to join the approximately 200 already on the ground, with the ability to increase the total to up to 400 personnel.
- Canada will be delivering over $2 million dollars’ worth of non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine, including such items as body armour, metal detectors, binoculars, and laser rangefinders.
- Additionally, we will continue to work on measures to support enhanced intelligence cooperation with Ukraine and to help bolster its cyber defences.
- These efforts are being undertaken alongside Global Affairs Canada as part of a coordinated and comprehensive effort to support Ukraine and deter ongoing Russian aggression.
- The Government has also offered Ukraine a $120 million loan to support its economic resilience, and a further $50 million in development and humanitarian aid.
- We continue to work closely with our Allies and partners as we provide crucial support to Ukraine as it faces Russian aggression.
If pressed on troops being moved west of the Dnieper River:
- Canada continues to evaluate the evolving situation in Ukraine and is taking actions accordingly.
- As such, the Canadian Armed Forces has moved its members west of Ukraine’s Dnieper River. Training in other locations continues.
- We will continue to take all precautions necessary to keep our Canadian Armed Forces members safe and secure.
If pressed on lethal aid:
- The most significant contribution that we can make to Ukraine’s security is through the continued training efforts and expertise of Canadian Armed Forces members.
- We are continuously evaluating Ukraine’s needs and engaging with our Ukrainian counterparts to provide the best-possible support.
If pressed on satellite imagery:
- We are continuously evaluating Ukraine’s security needs, and will provide our Ukrainian partners with the aid that they need, in coordination with our Allies and partners.
- Canada is working on enhancing its intelligence cooperation with Ukraine to strengthen its ability to defend itself against a wide range of threats.
If pressed on evacuation or repatriation of CAF members:
- The safety and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces personnel is a primary concern and we will continue to evaluate the evolving situation in Ukraine and take actions accordingly.
- We are carefully monitoring the evolving situation in the Ukraine and threat assessments are conducted on a continuous basis.
- I would like to thank the Canadian Armed Forces members for their ongoing work and commitment in this region.
- Timeline of Canadian support:
- January 22, 2022: Canada offered a $120 million loan to Ukraine aimed at bolstering the country’s economy.
- January 26, 2022: Government of Canada announced the extension and enhancement of Operation UNIFIER.
- Non-lethal aid:
- Current: Body armour, metal detectors, binoculars, and laser rangefinders
- Previous: A mobile field hospital, communications equipment, explosive disposal equipment.
- October 2020: The Royal Canadian Navy trained the Ukrainian Navy in diving, navigation, damage control, and tactical communications.
- March 2021: Canadian Armed Forces provided cyber support to enhance the security of Ukrainian systems.
- Personnel: Deployed every six months.
- Currently deployed: Approximately 200 CAF members
- Mission cap: Maximum of 400 personnel
- Mandate: Extended to March 31, 2025.
- Since 2015: The Canadian Armed Forces has trained over 30,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces in areas such as policing, explosive ordnance disposal, and advanced first aid.
- In 2015, Canada launched Operation UNIFIER in response to requests from the Government of Ukraine, with the intent to help Ukraine remain sovereign, secure, and stable.
- The mission was renewed in 2017, 2019, and most recently in January 2022.
- The Canadian Armed Forces has been providing Ukrainian security forces with specialized training to help improve their capability and capacity and assist them towards NATO interoperability.
- Activities include advising and assisting unit and brigade level tactical training, combat engineer training such as improvised explosive device disposal and explosive ordnance disposal; sniping; reconnaissance; military policing; and medical and advanced first aid training. They also include security forces of Ukraine junior officers and Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) personnel development initiatives in various schools and academies.
- The Canadian Armed Forces coordinates its efforts with the U.S. and other countries that support in the same way. The training mission harmonizes its efforts with other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission. This commission includes Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark and Sweden.
- National Defence also provides institutional level support to help advance Ukraine’s defence reform process. Current support is focused on:
- Defence governance, including command and control;
- Senior level military professional development;
- Professional Military Education reform;
- Defence procurement; and,
- Defence policy.
- From 2014 to 2020, Canada supplied non-lethal military gear to the Ukraine.
- In 2021, Operation UNIFIER saw the first ever Canadian female-to-female transfer of command authority.
- Operation REASSURANCE is Canada’s largest international military commitment, involving the deployment of different elements – land, air, sea – to Central and Eastern Europe in support of our Allies.
- The recent build-up of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine underscores the importance of Canada’s activities in the region.
- As part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada leads a high-readiness multinational Battle Group in Latvia, comprised of approximately 1,500 soldiers representing 10 Allied nations.
- We also contribute a Halifax-class frigate to a Standing NATO Maritime Group in European waters.
- In fact, the HMCS Montreal set sail on January 19th to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and support NATO assurance and deterrence measures in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
- Six CF-18 Hornets are also periodically deployed in support of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing activities in Romania, with the next scheduled deployment set for fall 2022.
- National Defence will continue to work with our NATO Allies to enhance our collective security and promote peace and stability around the world.
If pressed on safety and security of CAF members in Latvia amid growing tensions in Ukraine:
- The safety and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces personnel is a primary concern and we will continue to evaluate the evolving situation in Ukraine and take actions accordingly.
- Canada remains committed to Operation REASSURANCE and to NATO’s collective effort to deter Russian aggression in the region.
- Approximately 915 personnel deployed to support Operation REASSURANCE.
- Battle Group Latvia: 540 Canadian Armed Forces members
- Includes headquarters staff, infantry company with light armoured vehicles, military police, a reconnaissance troop, and logistical and communications support.
- Also includes 26 health services personnel as lead nation for the multi-national medical clinic, providing medical support to Canadian Armed Forces members and to partner nations, as well as dental and physiotherapy care to the Canadian Armed Forces Battle Group.
- Standing Naval Forces: One frigate with embarked helicopter detachment (currently HMCS Montreal).
- Air Task Force: Deployed every year since 2017 to participate in NATO enhanced Air Policing in South-Eastern Europe.
- Mandate: In July 2018, the Prime Minister announced that Canada would extend Operation REASSURANCE to March 2023.
- In 2016, NATO agreed to enhance its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance to deter and defend against potential adversaries. As part of this effort, NATO established three distinct missions in Europe: an enhanced Forward Presence, Standing Naval Forces, and a tailored Forward Presence. Under Operation REASSURANCE, Canada contributes to all three.
- Canada’s participation in NATO’s deterrence and defence efforts in Europe contributes to European security, stability, and prosperity. Canada’s contributions also reinforce our commitment to the rules-based international order, demonstrate our transatlantic solidarity, and highlight our active leadership in the Alliance.
- The 2021 Mandate Letter tasked the Minister of National Defence with ensuring Canada remains a leading contributor to NATO operations, including by extending Operation REASSURANCE in Eastern Europe.
Battle Group Latvia (Enhanced Forward Presence)
- Canada leads a NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia with military members from 10 nations, including: Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Iceland also provides support through Strategic Communications.
- The Battle Group serves to deter and, if necessary, defend against Russian aggression in Latvia. To this end, it conducts collective training and exercises that foster interoperability among NATO Allies.
Standing Naval Forces (Standing NATO Maritime Groups)
- Since 2014, Canada regularly contributes one frigate to the Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMGs), which conduct assurance measures and surveillance in European waters, alternating occasionally between Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (Baltic, Northern Seas, and Eastern Atlantic) and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (Mediterranean).
- In December 2021, HMCS Fredericton returned from a 6-month deployment as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 after successfully completing exercises and maritime security operations with Allied Navies and Air Elements.
- HMCS Fredericton was replaced by the HMCS Montreal, which set sail January 19, 2022.
Air Task Force (Tailored Forward Presence)
- Canada contributes, on a rotational basis, to a peacetime collective air policing mission to safeguard the integrity of NATO airspace in South-Eastern Europe.
- On September 1, 2021, Canada deployed an Air Task Force to Romania to undertake an enhanced Air Policing mission.
- This rotation, which concluded on November 30, 2021, was the sixth time that the Canadian Armed Forces deployed an Air Task Force to Romania on Operation REASSURANCE, with previous deployments occurring in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
- Two more rotations are currently scheduled for 2022 and 2023.
Contribution to NATO
- Canada’s commitment to its NATO Allies and partners is unwavering, especially in the face of unwarranted Russian aggression.
- Not only has this government raised defence spending, but every day, members of the Canadian Armed Forces are deeply engaged in NATO operations, promoting peace and stability.
- For example, Canada leads a multinational NATO Battle Group of approximately 1,500 soldiers in Latvia to deter aggression, prevent conflict, and protect stability in the region.
- Canada also recently commanded Standing NATO Maritime Group One, a formation to which we contribute a frigate, and which enhances Alliance readiness and interoperability.
- In fact, the HMCS Montreal set sail on January 19th to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and support NATO assurance and deterrence measures in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
- Up to six CF-18 Hornets are also periodically deployed in support of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing activities in Romania, with the next scheduled deployment set for fall 2022.
- Additionally, we are working closely with our NATO Allies and partners to ensure that Ukraine remains sovereign, secure, and stable.
- That is why the Government recently approved the extension and enhancement of Operation UNIFIER.
- As always, we, like our NATO Allies and partners, are committed to enhancing our collective security and promoting peace and stability around the world.
- Canada currently participates in four NATO-related operations:
- Operation REASSURANCE: Approximately 915 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and promote peace and stability in the region.
- Operation IMPACT: 16 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to NATO Mission Iraq to support training and capacity building of the Iraqi military.
- Operation KOBOLD: 5 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to support NATO’s Kosovo Force, a NATO-led peace-support operation.
- Operation ALLIED SOLACE: 3 Canadian Armed Forces translators deployed to support NATO in vetting NATO Affiliated Afghans recently evacuated from Afghanistan.
- Defence Spending:
- Canada is forecasted to spend 1.3% of GDP on defence in Fiscal Year 2022-23.
- Canada’s forecasted defence spending will increase to 1.52% by 2024. The recent fluctuations are almost exclusively the result of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
- Canada is the 6th largest contributor to NATO’s commonly funded budget, in comparison to other NATO members.
- Canada is forecasted to spend 16.6% of defence spending on major equipment in 2022-2023, and to surpass the 20% NATO threshold in 2023-2024.
Canada’s Contributions to NATO-related Operations:
- Operation REASSURANCE: This operation is Canada’s contribution of land, air, and naval assets and personnel to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and promote peace and stability in the region.
- Under this operation, Canada contributes to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe, NATO’s tailored Forward Presence in South-Eastern Europe, and NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Groups.
- Land: Canada contributes 540 Canadian Armed Forces members to and leads a multinational NATO Battle Group of approximately 1,500 soldiers in Latvia.
- Sea: Canada currently contributes one frigate to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 with HMCS MONTREAL.
- Air: Five CF-18 Hornets and approximately 135 Canadian Armed Forces members recently concluded a deployment to Romania for a NATO Air Policing mission
- 2021: Commodore Bradley Peats commanded Standing NATO Maritime Group One.
- Operation IMPACT: Under this operation, the CAF deploys members to NATO Mission Iraq to support institutional and ministerial-level reform in the Iraqi military. Canada commanded the NATO training and capacity building mission in Iraq from 2018-2020.
- Then-Major-General Jennie Carignan held command of NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) from November 2019 to November 2020, the first woman to do so.
- Operation KOBOLD: Canada contributes CAF personnel to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) as part of the NATO-led peace-support operation. Canada’s personnel are providing logistical and headquarters support to NATO’s Kosovo Force. Should operational requirements change, the authorities are in place to surge deployment of up to 15 personnel to Op KOBOLD.
- Operation ALLIED SOLACE: NATO stood up Operation ALLIED SOLACE to airlift over 1,000 NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors (those without a direct NATO member-state affiliation) and their immediate families from Kuwait and Qatar to temporary camps in Kosovo and Poland. Canada has contributed three translators to Camp Bechtel in Kosovo in support of this operation.
- One Gender Advisor is deployed on Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force and one Gender Advisor on NATO Mission Iraq to ensure GBA+ aspects are integrated when planning, and running operations.
- November 2019 – November 2020: Lieutenant-General Carignan commanded NATO Mission Iraq.
- 2019: Commodore Josée Kurtz was the first woman to command Standing NATO Maritime Group Two.
- Other NATO Contributions: A Canadian, Chief Warrant Officer Mathers, is currently the Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) at NATO's Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) (three star headquarters) in Izmir, Turkey and will become the CSEL at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) for Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in April 22.
NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security
- 14 June 2021: Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s proposal to establish and host a new NATO Centre of Excellence (COE) on Climate and Security and work with Allies as the Centre’s framework nation.
- Centre of Excellences are international military organizations that are established, run, and funded by individual NATO Allies or groups of Allies. NATO COEs train and educate personnel from Allied and Partner nations on specialized topics of relevance to the Alliance.
- The Centre of Excellence would facilitate the exchange of expertise among Allies, build capacity to address the security implications of climate change, and help advance ongoing efforts to reduce the climate impact of military activities.
CAF Operations in Indo-Pacific
- As outlined in the Speech from the Throne, peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region are of critical importance to Canada’s strategic interests and the broader international security environment.
- That is why National Defence is committed to continuing our increased and persistent presence in the region.
- For example, in 2021, HMCS Winnipeg concluded a four month deployment which included multilateral exercises with allies and partners in the East and South China Seas.
- Canada also routinely deploys ships and aircraft in the region, under Operation NEON, as part of a multinational effort to monitor UN sanctions against North Korea.
- Further, Canada conducts port visits and exercises with partner militaries, through Operation PROJECTION, to demonstrate its presence and promote regional security.
- In fact, the Canadian Armed Forces is planning to deploy two frigates in the Indo-Pacific region from June to December 2022 to participate in Op PROJECTION and Op NEON.
- The Defence Team is also actively supporting the development of the Global Affairs-led Indo-Pacific Strategy.
- We are prepared to increase, diversify and sustain our defence footprint in the region in support of this Strategy and the Government’s broader strategic commitment to this region.
If pressed on North Korean ballistic missile testing:
- Canada continues to help monitor sanctions against North Korea through Operation NEON.
- We are also working with our allies and partners to address a range of threats in the region.
- Operation NEON: HMCS Winnipeg and an Aurora maritime patrol aircraft concluded a rotation monitoring the UN sanctions against North Korea.
- In April 2021, Canada extended Operation NEON’s mandate into 2023.
- Since mission inception in 2019, the Canadian Armed Forces assets have identified 161 ship-to-ship transfers and 500 vessels of interest.
- Operation PROJECTION: HMCS Winnipeg concluded a deployment in the Indo-Pacific region in December 2021, having conducted port visits and exercises, and participated in Operation NEON.
- Since 2015: Royal Canadian Navy warships have deployed 13 times in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Defence Attachés: In 2020, Canada opened new Canadian Defence Attaché offices in Vietnam and Malaysia.
- Military Training and Cooperation Program: The Military Training and Cooperation Program supports training activities with 13 countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The Speech from the Throne 2021 and Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged both call for a tailored approach to global partnerships, including through sustained efforts to deepen partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.
- The 2021 Mandate Letter tasked the Minister of National Defence with supporting the Minister of Foreign Affairs in developing and launching a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic and defence partnerships in the region.
- Canada continues to maintain and is working to deepen its defence relationships with long-standing partners (such as Five Eyes members Australia and New Zealand), and is strengthening its bilateral ties with other regional partners (such as Japan and the Republic of Korea). The Canadian Armed Forces participates in a wide range of defence engagement activities with these countries and other partners in the region.
- Part of the Canadian Armed Forces engagement activities are coordinated through the Military Training and Cooperation Program, which aims to enhance interoperability between partners in relation to peace support operations, to foster defence relations, and promote democratic principles, the rule of law, international stability, and the protection of human rights.
- Canada continues to support the United Nations Command in implementing the Korean Armistice Agreement and has done so for the last 70 years.
- 2018-2019: Canada filled the Deputy Commander position of United Nations Command, the first non-US military member to do so.
- Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to the multinational effort to monitor United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea. These UNSC sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and missile launches.
- Under Operation PROJECTION, the Royal Canadian Navy deploys to the Indo-Pacific to provide a forward naval presence in the region and contribute to maritime security through engagement with allies and partners, port visits, and exercises.
- Halifax-class frigates, including a maritime helicopter detachment, are routinely deployed on Operation PROJECTION. HMCS Winnipeg’s recent deployment continues a trend of progressively more assertive and active deployments to the Indo-Pacific region by Canadian warships. Since 2015 Canada has:
- Deployed frigates to the region 10 times, a submarine once, and a tanker twice;
- Conducted four Taiwan Strait transits;
- Conducted two Spratly Islands transits; and,
- Conducted numerous multilateral and bilateral level exercises.
- Between September 2017 and March 2018, Canada deployed a submarine, HMCS Chicoutimi, to North East Asia—the first such deployment in 50 years.
Capacity Building in Southeast Asia
- The Canadian Armed Forces is providing bilateral training and equipment to further develop the Malaysian Armed Forces’ response to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents.
Global Affairs-Led Indo-Pacific Strategy
- In the 2021 Mandate Letters, the Prime Minister directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to “develop and launch a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic, economic and defence partnerships and international assistance in the region” and directed the Minister of National Defence to support this effort.
- This direction highlights the Government’s recognition of the role National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces plays in the region, as well as its intent to leverage military instruments of national power to implement the Strategy and deepen Canada’s partnerships.
Operation AEGIS (Afghanistan)
- Under Operation AEGIS, the Canadian Armed Forces worked tirelessly to help evacuate approximately 3,400 people from Kabul, the majority of whom were transported on 15 Canadian Armed Forces flights.
- To assist with the evacuations of Canadians and Afghan nationals, National Defence provided strategic airlift capabilities including various types of aircraft, aircrew, and support staff.
- We also supported our allies and partners in the coalition air bridge which helped evacuate over 100,000 Afghans.
- National Defence also worked with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and partners to identify and resettle Afghans who were integral to Canada’s work in Afghanistan.
- Under Operation ALLIED SOLACE, we also provided three interpreters to NATO’s temporary accommodation facility in Kosovo, which houses NATO-affiliated Afghans awaiting transit to Allied countries.
- National Defence will continue to work with its whole-of-government partners to support Afghanistan and to meet the Government’s commitment to resettle Afghan refugees.
- July 27, 2021: National Defence received approval to assist in the evacuation of designated Afghan personnel and their families.
- August 02, 2021: Canadian Armed Forces begins evacuation operations from Kabul.
- August 27, 2021: Canadian Armed Forces ceases evacuation operations and the last Canadian Armed Forces personnel and assets leave Afghanistan.
- Current effort: Three translators deployed to Operation ALLIED SOLACE in Kosovo. Operation ALLIED SOLACE ended February 2022.
- In support of Operation ALLIED SOLACE, Canada resettled 472 NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors, inclusive of their families, from the camp in Kosovo.
- This is the highest commitment amongst all NATO Allies.
Operation AEGIS (evacuation)
- Operation AEGIS was the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Government of Canada’s effort throughout August 2021, to evacuate Afghans with a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada, and their accompanying family members.
- National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces identified and referred Afghans with a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for eligibility review and processing, and assisted the evacuation of those eligible for resettlement to Canada.
- National Defence provided strategic airlift, including CC-130 Hercules, CC-150 Polaris, and CC-177 Globemaster aircraft, aircrew, and support staff to assist in evacuations, alongside flights chartered by Global Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
- The Canadian Armed Forces also provided force elements such as personnel and equipment to evacuate the Canadian Embassy – Kabul, Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and eligible Afghans identified by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
- Over the course of the operation, approximately 555 Canadian Armed Forces members were involved in Operation AEGIS. Approximately 250 Canadian Armed Forces members already in the region on other missions were re-tasked to support Operation AEGIS. A further 305 Canadian Armed Forces members were deployed to the region from Canada to support the effort.
- Through Operation AEGIS, National Defence contributed to the historic US-led coalition air bridge which facilitated the evacuation of over 100,000 people from Afghanistan under extremely challenging conditions.
Operation ALLIED SOLACE (Current Efforts)
- NATO stood up Operation ALLIED SOLACE to airlift over 1,000 NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors (those without a direct NATO member-state affiliation) and their immediate families from Kuwait and Qatar to temporary camps in Kosovo and Poland.
- The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed three Afghan-Canadian members to Camp Bechtel, Kosovo, to serve as interpreters and help resettle NATO-Affiliated Afghans and their immediate families in Allied countries, including Canada.
- In support of Operation ALLIED SOLACE, Canada has resettled 472 NATO-Affiliated Afghan (NAA) contractors, inclusive of their families, from the camp in Kosovo. While Canada’s initial pledge was to resettle 150 NAAs, following a request from NATO’s Secretary General, Canada agreed to accept up to an additional 322 NAAs, subject to Canada’s national screening requirements.
Operation IMPACT (Iraq)
- Operation IMPACT has been essential to countering Da’esh, and is part of a whole-of-government effort to foster security and stability in the Middle East.
- Under Operation IMPACT, Canada works with our allies to contribute to NATO Mission Iraq, support Iraqi Security Forces though the Global Coalition Again Da’esh, and provide training assistance to the Jordanian and Lebanese Armed Forces.
- In fact, approximately 360 Canadian Armed Forces members are currently deployed in support of this operation.
- Canada’s contribution includes training more than 4,500 Iraqi Security Force members to fight terrorism and stabilize Iraq, and contribute to regional and global stability.
- The Canadian Armed Forces has also provided training to approximately 400 members of the Jordanian Armed Forces and over 3,400 members of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
- In addition, National Defence is committed to ensuring that gender considerations are integrated into the planning and conduct of all operations.
- For example, on the last deployment, three women Canadian Armed Forces members directly mentored and trained the Jordanian Armed Forces Female Engagement Platoon.
- The Canadian Armed Forces remains committed to promoting human rights and security in the region through our collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, government partners, and allies.
- Operation IMPACT: The Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to Canada’s whole-of-government approach to the Middle East, which includes:
- Training, advising, assisting Iraqi security forces to prevent the return of Da’esh;
- Capacity building with partners, such as Lebanon and Jordan to increase regional stability;
- Promoting institutional reforms of the Iraqi defence community through NATO Mission Iraq;
- Providing leadership, expertise, and support to Coalition Headquarters; and
- Ensuring the safe movement of cargo and personnel in the area of operations through tactical airlift aircraft.
- Mandate: In March 2021, Canada extended Operation IMPACT’s mandate to March 31, 2022.
- One Gender Advisor is embedded with NATO Mission Iraq to provide advice to Commander NATO Mission Iraq and assist the Women, Peace, and Security Directorate in training the Iraqi military.
- As part of pre-deployment training, members deployed on Op IMPACT take the GBA+ training and a NATO course on integrating gender perspectives on operations.
- Operation IMPACT began in 2014 and is the military contribution to Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East Strategy to address instability caused by Da’esh.
- Canada works with partners in the region to set the conditions for stability and security in Iraq. Under Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces: (1) supports the Global Coalition to degrade and defeat Da’esh, (2) contributes to NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), and (3) conducts bilateral training and capacity building with Jordan and Lebanon.
- The Canadian Armed Forces also:
- Operates a Joint Intelligence Centre to gather vital information used to counter Da’esh.
- Provides two CC-130 Hercules to ensure safe movement of cargo and personnel across the Joint Operations Area.
- Canadian Special Operations Forces advise and assist the Iraqi security forces in developing their military skills, enabling them to take the fight to Da’esh.
- In support of these activities, up to 850 Canadian Armed Forces members could be deployed at one time in numerous command, support, training, advisory, and assistance roles.
NATO Mission Iraq
- The purpose of NMI is to help strengthen Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi military education institutions so that Iraqi forces can prevent the return of Da’esh. After commanding the mission for two years (2018-2020), Canada transferred the command to Denmark on 24 November 2020. Canada is currently contributing approximately 15 personnel.
- Canada commanded NATO Mission Iraq from 2018 to 2020.
- Then-Major-General Jennie Carignan commanded the NATO Mission Iraq between 2019 and 2020, the first and only woman to do so.
Bilateral Military Activities
- Canada deploys Training and Assistance Teams to Jordan and Lebanon of up to 25 and 20 personnel, respectively, to build the capacity of our regional partners through training, infrastructure, and equipment.
Operation IMPACT Allegations - Timeline
- In September 2018, Canadian Armed Forces personnel who were training Iraqi Security Forces members were shown videos of potential war crimes in which some of the Iraqi trainees may have participated.
- These Canadian Armed Forces personnel reported their concerns to their chain of command. Media reports from May/June 2021 detailed the efforts by these members to determine what actions were taken in response to their reports.
- In a June 2021 interview, Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, General Eyre, noted his grave concern with the allegations and stated that he had ordered an investigation to determine the facts.
- The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigation into the handling of the Canadian Armed Forces members’ reports is ongoing.
Operation ARTEMIS (Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean)
- Under Operation ARTEMIS, the Canadian Armed Forces works with partners as part of a multinational task force to deter terrorism in Middle Eastern waters and enforce UN-sanctioned embargoes.
- Canada has commanded this task force five times since 2008, most recently from January to July 2021.
- During the most recent deployment, Canada contributed 31 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and one civilian employee, as well as HMCS Calgary and a long-range patrol aircraft detachment.
- Under Canada’s command, the task force seized 55,000 kg of illicit narcotics worth approximately $160 million USD—the most in the task force’s history.
- The HMCS Calgary also set records within the task force for the most interdictions carried out by a single ship (17) and the largest amount of heroin seized at once (~1,200 kg).
- These activities help deter terrorism and other illicit activities in the region, and ensure the security of some of the busiest and most important shipping lanes in the world.
- Operation ARTEMIS is a periodic deployment, where the following personnel and assets can be deployed:
- Maximum of 375 Canadian Armed Forces members (the number of Canadian Armed Forces members and assets deployed varies on request.)
- 1 Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate (for up to 9 months, over the course of the mandate.)
- 1 CP-140 Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft (for up to 9 months over the course of the mandate.)
- Operation ARTEMIS is Canada’s contribution to the US-led, 34-nation naval partnership headquartered in Bahrain called Combined Maritime Forces, which works together to help stop terrorism and to make Middle Eastern waters more secure.
- Canada, through Op ARTEMIS, contributes personnel and assets to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), which forms one of the three operational flotillas of Combined Maritime Forces:
- CTF 150 – responsible for maritime security, counter-terrorism, and counter smuggling;
- CTF 151 – responsible for counter-piracy; and
- CTF 152 – responsible for maritime security in the Persian Gulf.
- The Area of Operations of Operation ARTEMIS encompasses more than two million square miles of international waters, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean.
- Canada’s first command of CTF 150 lasted from 3 June to 15 September 2008, with subsequent commands occurring:
- 4 Dec 2013 – 6 Apr 2014
- 8 Dec 2016 – 13 Apr 2017
- 6 Dec 2018 – 28 April 2019
- 27 Jan 2021 – 15 July 2021
- The Canadian Armed Forces has a proud, longstanding history of participating in peacekeeping missions to support peace and stability around the world.
- That is why Canada recently pledged $85 million over three years in continued support of global peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts at the 2021 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial hosted by the Republic of Korea.
- As part of these efforts, Canada deploys personnel on five UN operations.
- Additionally, the Canadian Armed Forces provides episodic tactical airlift support to UN operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
- These tactical airlift efforts have transported thousands of pounds of cargo and hundreds of personnel to sustain UN peace-support operations in these countries.
- Separately, as part of its support to the UN’s Engagement Platoon Initiative under the training support to peace operations, the Canadian Armed Forces deployed to Rwanda and Uganda to deliver two pilot ‘train the trainer’ courses.
- Finally, through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, Canada is partnering with the military in Ghana to provide military training to further increase the participation of women in UN peace operations.
- We remain steadfast in our pledge to advance and support global peace and security, and Canada will continue to provide high value capabilities and expertise in support of UN peacekeeping operations.
- Total: Canada currently has 31 military peacekeepers deployed on 5 UN operations; and 55 military peacekeepers on non-UN missions.
- Of the 31 military peacekeepers deployed on 5 UN operations, 16 are women peacekeepers (52%).
- $70M over three years for a special UN fund created to invest in conflict prevention and post-conflict recovery activities.
- $15M to a variety of initiatives designed to help increase the number of women on peacekeeping missions, reduce the use of child soldiers, and improve the training of peacekeepers.
- The Vancouver Principles Contribution Program provides $225,000 per year (for five years starting in 2019-20) to help fund research in the prevention of recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Peace Support Operations
- National Defence and Global Affairs Canada work together to fulfill Canada’s peacekeeping commitments and provide support to the UN along the entire spectrum of conflict prevention, peace support, and transition.
- Staff officer deployments to peace operations include:
- Operation CROCODILE (Democratic Republic of the Congo): 9 military peacekeepers (1 female) deployed
- Operation SOPRANO (South Sudan): 9 military peacekeepers (1 female) deployed
- Operation PRESENCE (Mali): 7 military peacekeepers (2 female) deployed, plus two Canadian Armed Forces staff officers embedded within the United Kingdom Long Range Reconnaissance Task Force
- Operation JADE (Middle East): 5 military peacekeepers deployed
- Operation SNOWGOOSE (Cyprus): 1 military peacekeeper deployed
- Operation CALUMET (non-UN Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai): 55 military peacekeepers (10 female) deployed
- Operation PRESENCE is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Government of Canada’s peace operations strategy, announced at the Vancouver 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Meeting.
- This includes the following:
- An Air Task Force, which was delivered from 2018 to 2019 to the UN Mission in Mali. Since 2019, Canada has deployed up to 10 staff officers to MINUSMA in Mali.
- Tactical airlift support to UN missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan was renewed in July 2021, and will continue on an episodic basis until March 31, 2022.
- Training and Subject Matter Experts to enhance the effectiveness of UN peace operations by augmenting the professionalism and technical competence of UN Troop Contributing Countries. For example, from August to September 2021, Canada deployed 9 trainers to Rwanda and Uganda to train members of UN Engagement Platoons.
- The mandate to implement Canada’s 2017 Vancouver commitments expires on March 31, 2022. Options for future commitments are currently under consideration.
- From August 2019 to present, Canada’s CC-130J aircraft in Entebbe, Uganda, has transported 1,243 personnel and 1,225,967 pounds of cargo with 458 hours of flight logged.
Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations
- Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations at the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver. It is a multilateral pilot project that is developing and testing approaches to help overcome barriers and increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in UN peace operations, with a focus on police and military roles.
- The intent for UN Engagement Platoons is to be composed of at least 50% women, with an aim to leverage expertise and gender diversity to break down engagement barriers with local populations, identify vulnerable areas and at-risk populations, and provide enhanced situational awareness.
- Canada has provided significant support on Engagement Platoon training materials. The Canadian Armed Forces has provided subject matter expertise to the UN for the development and translation of these materials and has delivered two pilot ‘train the trainer’ courses in Rwanda and Uganda.
Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security
- We established the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security in June 2019 with a mandate to ensure that the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers are fully integrated into the doctrine and practice of the Canadian Armed Forces.
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