Canadian Armed Forces begin explosive threat training in Iraq, adjusting Air Task Force contributions

News Release

November 17, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to enable the lasting defeat of Daesh, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) engineers are delivering explosive threat training to Iraqi security forces (ISF). As well, to better meet the needs of the Global Coalition, the CAF is adjusting its aircraft contributions.

Approximately 20 Canadian Army engineers have deployed to deliver explosive threat training to the ISF in Besmaya, Iraq. Responding to the Coalition’s needs and an evolving military campaign, the CAF has also deployed a second CC-130J Hercules aircraft to join Joint Task Force Iraq (JTF-I), while the CP-140 Aurora detachment will return to Canada in mid-December.


“Canada is committed to working with our Coalition partners as we work towards the defeat of Daesh. In doing so, we continue to assess the conditions in the region and adjust our contributions to ensure we provide the best resources to support Coalition efforts.”

—    Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister 

“The Canadian Armed Forces is adjusting Joint Task Force Iraq’s contributions so our forces can assist in Iraq’s consolidation of the gains as operations continue to destroy Daesh’s remaining capabilities. The Royal Canadian Air Force’s long range patrol fleet has supported three years of valuable intelligence efforts over Iraq and Syria. We welcome the Royal Canadian Engineers to our team, and know the Iraqi Army Bomb Disposal school’s instructors are looking forward to our contributions to enhance Iraqi abilities to deal with explosive threats from Daesh. The additional CC-130J Hercules will improve our ability to move the people and equipment needed to further stabilize Iraq to the benefit of its people.”

—    Brigadier-General Daniel MacIsaac, Commander Joint Task Force - Iraq

Quick Facts

  • The changes to the CAF contributions are a result of the evolving conditions in Iraq and the nature of the Coalition’s campaign. This ensures Canada continues to provide highly valuable contributions to Coalition operations.

  • The explosive threat training team is an additional CAF contribution to help enhance the capacity of ISF as we work towards defeating Daesh. Canada has committed to deliver at least three training serials to the ISF over the coming months.

  • The initial training will be delivered in cooperation with other NATO nations under the NATO Training and Capacity Building – Iraq (NTCB-I) mandate and in coordination with the Global Coalition’s Middle East Stabilization Force.

  • The CAF training program is based on a train-the-trainer approach aiming for the ISF to be self-sufficient in the long term and to develop an ISF instructor cadre in the area of counter-improvised explosive devices (C-IED).

  • An additional CC-130J Hercules has deployed from 8 Wing Trenton to further enhance Canada’s contribution to Coalition air mobility operations, transporting personnel and cargo within the region.

  • The CP-140 Aurora will conclude over three years of support to the Coalition, returning to Canada in mid-December. To date, the Aurora aircraft has flown over 850 sorties, directly contributing to the defeat of Daesh, by supporting Coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts. 

  • Canada’s contribution will now include:

    • An Air Mobility Detachment with one CC-150 Polaris aerial refueling aircraft and two CC-130J Hercules;
    • A tactical helicopter detachment with up to four CH-146 Griffons;
    • The recently extended CAF-led Role 2 medical facility;
    • Training, advising, and assisting Iraqi security forces;
    • Support to the Global Coalition’s Ministerial Liaison Team; and
    • Support to the Global Coalition with other highly-skilled personnel, including the All Source Intelligence Centre. 
  • The recently renewed Op IMPACT mandate provides the CAF with the authority to tailor its contribution to the Global Coalition’s campaign against Daesh. 

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