Special Operations Training Concludes in Malaysia

May 30, 2023 – Defence Stories

Operation MANTIS

A member of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) provides support and guidance to a member of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) during OPERATION MANTIS 23.

A small detachment from the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) recently returned from deployment in Malaysia, where it was supporting Operation MANTIS.

This was the latest edition in a series that has been conducted in coordination with Global Affairs Canada annually since 2014, helping to contribute to security in the Indo Pacific region.

The operation sees skilled members from the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) working alongside the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), helping to strengthen their ability to respond to Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) threats.

Operation MANTIS

A member of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) participates alongside members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in the final exercise concluding OPERATION MANTIS 23.

Working alongside the members of the MAF under the hot equatorial sun, the CANSOFCOM team focused on collective and individual training to enhance interoperability involving an assault force, CBRN Operators, and a Counter Improvised Explosive Device Team.

MAF members participating in MANTIS benefited from insight provided from CANSOFCOM, whose role was to share knowledge, expertise and provide guidance when required.

“CBRN counterterrorism is complex by nature because the variety of potential threats is enormous. This requires not only having the institutional knowledge and procedural foundations, but it also requires learning to apply unorthodox thinking to solve unorthodox problems”, said the CJIRU training lead, “and that takes years”.

Operation MANTIS

A member of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) guards the stairs during the final exercise on OPERATION MANTIS 23 overseen by a member of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).

Operations like MANTIS can help consolidate a host-nation’s defensive capability and strengthen its ability to deter potential malign actors. The application of basic CBRN competencies requires strict adherence to procedures and methodology, as rushing or missing critical steps could have catastrophic results. The CBRN capabilities taught and applied can mean the difference between a radioactive port or a subway affected by a lethal agent or, having a country’s Special Operations Forces safely counter an attempted attack.

Maintaining a CBRN capability does not come easily; it requires constant practice, physical endurance, scientific expertise, and the commitment to remain at the leading edge of an ever-evolving threat. However, many nations, including Canada and Malaysia, realize the value in the defensive investment; while the probability of a real-world attack may be relatively low, the human and economic risks are too high to ignore.

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