Canada to command NATO Mission in Iraq for a second year

News release

June 26, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canada remains steadfast in our support to NATO. We have demonstrated a readiness to provide leadership where it is needed and are committed to strengthening the transatlantic bond. As a result, we are now leading three NATO efforts globally, including NATO Mission Iraq, where we are working to support stability and security in the Middle East.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced that Canada will continue command of NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) for a second year until November 2020. Major-General Dany Fortin, who took command in November 2018, will transfer command in the fall of 2019 to Brigadier-General Jennie Carignan, who will be promoted to the rank of Major-General. Brigadier-General Carignan is currently the Commander of 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East based in Quebec.

As Commander of NATO Mission Iraq, Major-General Fortin has been leading several hundred trainers, advisers, and support staff, from Allied countries and non-NATO partners, including Australia, Sweden, and Finland, as well as up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces members.   

NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. It is founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It aims to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions and advancing Security Sector Reform.

Canada’s leadership of NATO Mission Iraq complements our existing efforts in the Global Coalition against Daesh, and our ongoing support to Iraq, as we move forward from the successful fight against Daesh.

Under Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces is also providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity. 


“Our message is clear – Canada is ready to lead and stand with our Allies. We are committed to supporting a more peaceful and prosperous world that benefits Canadians and global citizens alike. We know that combating threats to global stability reinforces security and prosperity at home and this is why we are happy to work with NATO and continue our command role of NATO Mission Iraq. I am also pleased that Brigadier-General Carignan, an accomplished leader, will assume command of the mission following her promotion to the rank of Major-General."

-  The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

"Together with its NATO Allies and the Government of Iraq, Canada is committed to work towards lasting peace and security for the people of Iraq and the surrounding region. We are proud to assume command of NATO Mission Iraq for a second year and support the people of Iraq and new initiatives that will enhance security and regional stability.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • NATO Mission Iraq was first announced at the Brussels Summit in July 2018 in response to a request from the Government of Iraq. To date, the mission has consisted of approximately 580 NATO personnel, including up to 250 CAF members. 

  • NATO personnel advise Iraqi officials in the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the National Security Advisor and train instructors, through the concept of “training the trainers,” at Iraqi military schools and academies in such areas as:

    • Countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED);
    • Civil-military planning;
    • Armoured vehicle maintenance; and
    • Medical care.
  • NATO’s advisory activities are conducted in Baghdad, including in the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, the Office of the National Security Advisor, and relevant national security institutions. NATO’s training activities are carried out at the Iraqi military schools in the Baghdad area, Taji and Besmaya.

  • Brigadier-General Carignan has held several command positions including Commander of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment, Commander of Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment, and Commandant of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean. She also deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Golan Heights, and Afghanistan.

Associated links


Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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