Canada announces the deployment of a Tactical Airlift Detachment to Uganda in support of United Nations peace operations

News release

August 15, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence

Canada is dedicated to supporting United Nations (UN) peacekeeping by providing innovative contributions and addressing critical capability gaps. This includes ensuring the UN has reliable and predictable access to high-end military capabilities required to support sustainable peace and security in areas affected by conflict.

During the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial hosted by Canada in Vancouver in November 2017, Canada committed a number of “smart pledges” of high value military capabilities to be deployed in a 5-year timeframe with planned and predictable rotations with other member states. These pledges were a Quick Reaction Force and accompanying equipment; an Aviation Task Force of medium utility and armed helicopters; and a tactical airlift support to address critical gaps in the UN’s ability to transport troops, equipment, and supplies to their missions.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide the UN with tactical airlift support out of Entebbe, in Uganda, during the next 12 months beginning as early as August 2019.

The Tactical Airlift Detachment will consist of one CC-130J Hercules aircraft, operated and supported by up to 25 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. It will deploy for up to five days each month to assist with transporting troops, equipment and supplies to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In the coming days, the CAF and the UN are expected to finalize the details and arrangements of the first deployment.


“Today’s announcement fulfills a commitment we made during the Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver in November 2017. This capability will play an important role in helping supply military and police personnel on UN peace operations in the region, with critical resources. We look forward to working with other Member States to turn this flexible capability into another smart pledge rotation.”

 The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Canada is committed to peacekeeping and working with our partners to support peace for people in the most conflict-ridden parts of the world. This UN mission in Entebbe is an excellent example of the smart pledges that Canada will continue to support so we can fill critical gaps in UN peacekeeping.”

 The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The agreement with Canada provides support for the UN in a predictive and structured manner, expanding the capacity and capability of MONUSCO and UNMISS to address operational requirements more efficiently. I welcome the continued engagement of the Government of Canada in support of peacekeeping through this agreement, supporting Canada’s original pledge for an in-demand capability, present in the region and able to address multiple missions’ operational needs.”

 Mr. Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, United Nations

Quick facts

  • Canada hosted the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial from November 14 to 15, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • In Vancouver, Canada pledged to improve the effectiveness of UN peace operations in a number of ways, including through smart pledges, which are commitments of high-value capabilities made in partnership by two or more UN member states to answer specific, targeted needs around the world.

  • In March 2018, Canada committed to deploying an Air Task Force (ATF) of helicopters to MINUSMA for a period of one year. Known as Operation PRESENCE – Mali, the ATF became operational in August 2018 and is providing critical medical evacuation, logistics and transportation capability to the UN out of Gao, northern Mali. Canada’s ATF will complete its mission on August 31, 2019.

  • In Vancouver, Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations and the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.

  • As part of the Elsie Initiative, Canada is partnering with the Ghana Armed Forces and the Zambia Police Service to deliver bilateral technical assistance and training, and collaborated with the UN to design and launch the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, which will support the deployment of more trained and qualified women as uniformed peacekeepers.

  • Since the launch of the Vancouver Principles in 2017, 93 countries have endorsed these principles. Canada has also led a collaborative process to develop implementation guidance to assist member states in operationalizing the Vancouver Principles.

Associated links


Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence

Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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