International Security

Support for Ukraine (Operation UNIFIER)

  • In the face of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, Canada is working closely with our partners to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty and security.
  • That is why we recently committed $75 million in new funds to source highly specialized military equipment requested by Ukraine.
  • This assistance is part of the $110 million in military aid that we have committed to Ukraine since February 2022.
  • Additionally, we deployed two CC-130 aircraft which are currently supporting Allies and partners in the region.
  • These actions complement our efforts under Operation UNIFIER, where the Canadian Armed Forces conducted more than 700 course serials, and trained over 33,000 Ukrainian personnel from 2015 to January 2022.
  • Although training provided in Ukraine through Operation UNIFIER is paused, National Defence and its international training partners are assessing options to continue providing defence support to Ukraine.
  • We remain committed to the people of Ukraine and our mission to increase the capacity and capability of Ukraine’s forces.

If pressed on aid delivery timelines:

  • We are continuously working with our Allies and partners to provide aid to Ukraine.
  • Given operational security concerns, we cannot discuss further specifics at this time.

If pressed on military aid falling into the wrong hands:

  • We continue to provide much needed and valuable aid that has been requested by Ukraine.
  • National Defence has signed a declaration with Ukraine's armed forces that all weapons provided will not be transferred to any other entity.

If pressed on Canadian Armed Forces members fighting in Ukraine:

  • We do not encourage any Canadians, including retired Canadian Armed Forces members, to go to Ukraine to fight given the very dire security situation.
  • Canadian Armed Forces members are prohibited to travel to Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia for any circumstance other than missions or duties approved by the Chief of the Defence Staff.

If pressed on a no-fly zone over Ukraine:

  • Canada and our NATO Allies have a responsibility to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine, which would be even more dangerous and devastating.
  • The establishment and enforcement of a no-fly zone could risk triggering a larger international conflict with Russia.
  • We will continue working with our Allies to support Ukraine through other contributions.

If pressed on what would draw Canada into the war:

  • NATO countries stand firmly behind Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and we will protect every inch of NATO territory.
  • An attack on one Ally is an attack against all.

If pressed on future military defensive aid:

  • Canada is working with our Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the support they need.
  • We continue to assess options to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and security.

If pressed on Cyber Security Assistance:

  • Canadian Armed Forces are working with the Communications Security Establishment on measures to support cyber security and cyber operations.

If pressed on the training of Ukrainian security  forces:

  • We have witnessed the tremendous transformation of Ukraine’s forces over the past several years.
  • Although training provided through Operation UNIFIER is paused, National Defence and its international training partners are assessing options to continue providing defence support to Ukraine.
  • While all members deployed on Operation UNIFIER have been temporarily relocated outside of Ukraine, we plan to resume training once conditions allow.

Key Facts

Operation UNIFIER:

  • Personnel: Deployed every six months
  • Jan 26, 2022: Canada committed to deploy an additional 60 personnel to join the approximately 200 deployed at that time
    • Personnel cap increased to 400 personnel


  • Military Aid Funding
    • Total committed since February 2022: $110 million
  • Military Aid Provided since February 2022
    • $75 million dollars in new funds to source military equipment requested by Ukraine, including body armour, gas masks, helmets, and other highly specialized pieces of military equipment
    • Anti-armour weapons systems and rocket launchers
    • Almost 400,000 individual meal packs
    • Small arms and ammunition
    • $3 million in funding for modern satellite imagery to track the movement of Russian forces
  • Military Equipment Provided From 2015 to January 2022
    • Body armour
    • Mobile field hospital
    • Communications gear
    • Explosive disposal equipment


  • Operation REASSURANCE is Canada’s largest international military commitment, involving the deployment of land, sea, and air elements to Central and Eastern Europe in support of our Allies, and the reinforcement of NATO’s Eastern Flank.
  • As part of our renewed commitment, we are deploying up to 460 additional personnel to Operation REASSURANCE, including an Artillery Battery to Latvia.
  • We have also deployed a CP-140 Aurora aircraft already in action, and the HMCS Halifax and embarked maritime helicopter will join NATO by April 9.
  • These enhancements bring our commitment to approximately 1,300 members deployed on Operation REASSURANCE.
  • Additionally, two CC-130 Hercules aircraft with up to 50 personnel have already been deployed and are supporting Allied and partner efforts in the region.
  • 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 a no-fly zone over Ukraine:

  • Canada and our NATO Allies have a responsibility to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine, which would be even more dangerous and devastating.
  • The establishment and enforcement of a no-fly zone could risk triggering a larger international conflict with Russia.
  • We will continue working with our Allies to support Ukraine through other contributions.

If pressed on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear protection:

  • The health and safety of Canadian Armed Forces members is our utmost priority.
  • National Defence has taken measures to ensure its members are prepared before being deployed at home and abroad.
  • This includes ensuring Canadian Armed Forces members have access to the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

If pressed on additional NATO support:

  • We have placed approximately 3,400 personnel at a higher state of readiness to deploy to the NATO Response Force should these forces be required.

Key Facts

  • March 8, 2022: The Prime Minister announced that Canada will renew its multi-year commitment to Operation REASSURANCE. This announcement is a year ahead of schedule and responds to the changing security situation in Eastern Europe.
  • Approximately 1,300 Canadian Armed Forces members employed on Operation REASSURANCE.
    • Approximately 240 sailors onboard HMCS Montreal, operating with NATO Maritime Group Two;
    • A second frigate, HMCS Halifax, with an embarked maritime helicopter, will be re-tasked on April 9 to participate in NATO’s Standing Naval Forces;
    • 700 soldiers leading a NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia with an additional battery of M777 artillery guns with forward observers and an electronic warfare troop to bolster the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;
    • CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft previously assigned to operations in and around Iceland, which now operates in the Euro-Atlantic Area under NATO command and control.
  • Battle Group Latvia: Canada is the lead nation for the multinational NATO Battle Group in Latvia comprised of approximately 1,500 soldiers from 10 Allied nations.
  • Air Task Force: Canada periodically deploys CF-18 Hornets and approximately 140 members supported NATO Air Policing in Romania.
    • Most recent deployment: September to December 2021.
    • Additional rotations are scheduled for summer 2022 and 2023.
  • In addition, Canada has almost 400 CAF personnel in NATO headquarters in Europe and North America making important contributions to Alliance security.

Defence Spending (including contribution to NATO)

  • Canada is unwavering in its commitment to the NATO Alliance, to the defence of Euro-Atlantic security, and to the rules-based international order.
  • We understand the need to invest in defence to be agile and adaptable in the face of evolving threats.
  • That is why, in 2017, through Strong, Secure, Engaged, we committed to increasing defence spending by 70% over ten years.
  • Since 2017, we have taken the steps to procure the equipment needed to continue providing critical capabilities to the Alliance.
  • For example, we are procuring 88 new fighter jets, 15 Canadian Surface Combatants, and 6 Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.
  • Despite the economic impacts of COVID-19, Canada is committed to making the defence expenditure investments in the strategic areas identified in its defence policy.

If pressed on defence spending as a share of GDP (NATO 2%):

  • In Fiscal Year 2021-22, Canada is forecasted to spend 1.36% of its GDP on defence, and is forecasted to spend 1.43% by fiscal year 2024-25.
  • This spending will enable Canada to continue making important contributions to global peace and stability alongside our NATO Allies, as we are doing in Latvia, Ukraine, and the Middle East.

Key Facts

Strong, Secure, Engaged:

  • Since 2017, 75% of the projects identified under Strong, Secure, Engaged are in the implementation phase, near completion, or completed.

Defence Spending:

  • Canada is forecasted to spend 1.36% of GDP on defence in Fiscal Year 2021-22.
  • Canada’s forecasted defence spending will increase to 1.43% 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 17.7% of defence spending on major equipment in 2021-2022, and to surpass the 20% NATO threshold in 2023-2024.
  • Canada is forecasted to spend approximately 32% of its defence expenditures on major equipment in 2024, far exceeding the 20% NATO guideline.

CAF Operations in Indo-Pacific

  • Recognizing the critical importance of the Indo-Pacific to Canada’s interests, National Defence is committed to continuing our increased and persistent presence in the region.
  • Under Op PROJECTION, Royal Canadian Navy ships conduct combined activities and port visits with allies and partners to demonstrate Canada’s presence and promote regional security.
  • Canada also routinely deploys ships and aircraft to the region under Operation NEON, as part of a multinational effort to monitor UN sanctions against North Korea.
  • In fact, the Canadian Armed Forces is planning to deploy two frigates from June to November 2022 to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), followed by Op PROJECTION and Op NEON in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • 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 AUKUS partnership:

  • Canada maintains strong military relations and intelligence sharing agreements with AUKUS countries, regardless of the new trilateral partnership.
  • As a Pacific nation, Canada will continue to play an active role in the region, and maintain a persistent presence to support peace, security, and Canadian interests in the 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 better understand and address a range of threats in the region.

Key Facts

  • Operation NEON: HMCS Winnipeg and an Aurora maritime patrol aircraft undertook a rotation monitoring the UN sanctions against North Korea in late 2021.
    • In April 2021, Canada extended Operation NEON’s mandate into 2023.
    • Since the mission’s inception in 2019, Canadian Armed Forces assets have identified 100 ship-to-ship transfers and 416 vessels of interest.
  • Operation PROJECTION: HMCS Winnipeg concluded a deployment in the Indo-Pacific region in December 2021, having conducted port visits and combined activities with allies and partners and participated in Operation NEON.
  • Operation MANTIS: Canadian Special Operations Forces Command has supported the Malaysian Armed Forces’ Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear response capability through a train-the-trainer mission since 2015.
  • Since 2015:  Royal Canadian Navy ships have undertaken progressively more assertive and active deployments to the Indo-Pacific region, and have:
    • deployed 13 times to the Indo-Pacific region;
    • conducted five Taiwan Strait transits;
    • conducted two Spratly transits; and,
    • conducted numerous multilateral and bilateral level exercises and activities.
  • 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.
  • ASEAN: National Defence continues to seek membership in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, as well as Observer Status in the Expert Working Groups to play a more active role in the region’s security architecture.
  • Exercise SEA DRAGON: The RCAF participated in Exercise SEA DRAGON in 2021 and 2022. This anti-submarine exercise brings together QUAD nations, plus Canada and some others.
    • The RCAF detachment won the Dragon Belt award for the top-performing crew two years in a row.

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.
  • Under Operation ALLIED SOLACE, we provided three interpreters to NATO’s temporary accommodation facility in Kosovo, which houses NATO-affiliated Afghans awaiting transit to Allied countries.
  • National Defence also provided support to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and partners to identify and resettle Afghans who were integral to Canada’s work in Afghanistan.
  • 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.

Key Facts

  • July 27, 2021: National Defence received approval to assist 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.
  • September 2021 – March 2022: Three translators deployed to Operation ALLIED SOLACE in Kosovo. One translator returned on February 25, 2022 and the remaining two translators returned on March 2, 2022.

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 the Global Coalition Against Da’esh, and NATO Mission Iraq, supporting Iraqi Security Forces.
  • We also provide bilateral training assistance to the Jordanian and Lebanese Armed Forces.
  • To date, the Canadian Armed Forces have trained over 4,500 members of the Iraqi Security Force, over 3,400 members of the Lebanese Armed Forces, and 2,400 members of the Jordanian Armed Forces.
  • We remain committed to promoting human rights and security in the region in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, government partners, and allies.

Key Facts

  • Operation IMPACT: The Canadian Armed Force’s 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;
    • Ensuring the safe movement of cargo and personnel in the area of operations through tactical airlift; and,
    • 14 health services personnel in support of CAF members.
  • Mandate: In March 2021, Canada extended Operation IMPACT’s mandate to March 31, 2022.
  • CAF members deployed: ~ 450 (mission cap: 850)
  • GBA+
    • 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.

Peace Support Operations

  • The Canadian Armed Forces has a proud, longstanding history of participating in peacekeeping missions to support peace and stability around the world.
  • Today, we provide expertise and advanced capabilities to United Nations peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world.
  • Additionally, the Canadian Armed Forces provides episodic tactical airlift support to UN operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
  • Over the past two years, these tactical airlift efforts have transported over 1 million of pounds of cargo and 1,417 personnel to sustain UN peace-support operations in the region.
  • 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.

Key Facts

Current numbers:

  • Total: Canada currently has 31 military peacekeepers deployed on 5 UN operations.
  • Of the 31 military peacekeepers deployed on 5 UN operations, 16 are women peacekeepers (52%).
  • Tactical Airlift Detachment (Uganda):
    • Consists of a CC-130J Hercules aircraft and approximately 30 CAF personnel (crew and support staff).
    • In 2021, due to the impacts of COVID, the CAF conducted two serials, transporting 571 personnel and more than 640,000 lbs of cargo with close to 100 hours of flight time.
    • In 2022, the CAF has conducted one serial so far, transporting 846 personnel and more than 390,500 lbs of cargo with 60 hours of flight time.
  • UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA): Up to 10 CAF members continue to support the MINUSMA mission in Mali, working as staff officers at mission headquarters in Bamako and Gao.


  • Pledged at the 2021 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial:
    • $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.

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