A new commander for Operation CALUMET

News Release

July 13, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Colonel Michael Sullivan assumed command of Operation CALUMET from Colonel Martin Lipcsey today in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.

Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Canadian Joint Operations Commander, took part, as reviewing officer, in the change of command ceremony held in South Camp of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This ceremony was presided over by the Force Commander of the MFO, Australian Major-General Simon Stuart.

Operation CALUMET is Canada's participation in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), an independent peacekeeping operation in the Sinai Peninsula. Canada has been actively involved in maintaining peace in the region for more than 50 years and has contributed to the MFO since 1985. Operation CALUMET demonstrates Canada’s strong support to peace support operations in the region.

Additional multimedia

Outgoing Commander, Col. Martin Lipcsey (right), and incoming Commander Col. Michael Sullivan (left), signed the change of command documents for the command of Op CALUMET, with the Force Commander of the MFO, Australian Major-General Simon Stuart in Egypt (centre), on July 13, 2017. Op CALUMET is Canada's contribution to the MFO. The MFO is an independent international organization with peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Its mission is to supervise the implementation of Annex 1 (the “Security Annex”) of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace. Canada has provided a contingent since September 1, 1985. Photo by: Task Force El Gorah


“I thank Colonel Lipcsey and the members of the Canadian contingent for their service to the Multinational Force and Observers and for demonstrating the professionalism and teamwork vital in this multinational environment. Welcome to Colonel Sullivan and his team who continue Canada’s valued and continuous contribution to this important and successful peacekeeping mission.”

—    Major-General Simon Stuart, Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers

“I extend my appreciation to Colonel Lipcsey for his commitment to Operation CALUMET and for the contributions he and his contingent made to the Multinational Force and Observers over the course of the past year. I am confident that under the command of Colonel Sullivan, Operation CALUMET will continue to work effectively to promote peace and security in the region and will demonstrate leadership with Canada’s like-minded nation partners.”

—    Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

“It is both a privilege and a honor to command Operation CALUMET. Colonel Lipcsey led this force of highly-trained men and women dedicated to keeping the peace between Egypt and Israel. I look forward to working with Multinational Force and Observers partners, our hosts in this region, and to represent the Canadian Armed Forces in their contribution to the peace support efforts in this region.”

—    Colonel Michael Sullivan, Incoming Commander, Task Force El Gorah, Operation CALUMET

“I am extremely proud to have lead this fine group of men and women over the past year. They came to the Sinai during a time of massive change for the Multinational Force and Observers, coupled with a very challenging operating environment, and handled themselves with the professionalism and composure for which Canadian Armed Forces members are known. I know the new members of the Canadian Contingent will continue this exceptional tradition of service to this operation—one operation, one of the longest and most successful peacekeeping missions in the world.”

—    Colonel Martin Lipcsey, Outgoing Commander, Task Force El Gorah, Operation CALUMET

Quick Facts

  • As part of Task Force El Gorah, Colonel Michael Sullivan commands approximately 70 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel. The CAF contingent includes senior advisors, headquarters staff, and experts in fields such as logistics, engineering, and training, as well as a flight-following unit. It also includes Military Police officers who conduct community-based policing duties in South Camp and Forward Operating Base North of the multinational peacekeeping force.

  • The MFO is an independent international organization with peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai Peninsula. It was established in 1981 by the United States with Egypt and Israel, and is responsible for supervising the implementation of Annex 1 (the “Security Annex”) of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.

  • Twelve nations (Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay) contribute personnel to make up the MFO’s Force. MFO Sinai is the largest element of the MFO and is a joint organization with army, air, and naval components. As of June 2017, the MFO's Force numbered approximately 1300 personnel.

  • Colonel Michael Sullivan, an artillery officer, has served, at home and abroad, in a variety of command and staff positions throughout his career. In January 1997 and in 2001, Col. Sullivan deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina. From July 2005 to June 2006, he deployed to Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Detachment of the Afghan Army National Training Centre in Kabul. 

  • Prior to his current deployment, he assumed the role of Chief of Staff for the 5th Canadian Division.

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