Defence Minister Anita Anand visits Poland to strengthen defence cooperation and announces new training for Ukrainian personnel
October 11, 2022 – Warsaw, Poland – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand visited Poland for a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak. During the visit, the ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance and strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between Canada and Poland. The MOU creates new opportunities for military and civilian personnel to learn from one another, train together, and enable cross-industry defence collaboration to modernize military technology.
Minister Anand also announced that starting in the coming weeks Canada will deploy approximately 40 combat engineers to Poland under Operation UNIFIER to support the sapper training program for the Security Forces of Ukraine. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will provide training on a range of basic and advanced engineering skills, engineering reconnaissance, the use of explosives for demolition work, and demining.
Canada and Poland are close NATO Allies and cooperate in many ways – including through the recent deployment of CAF personnel to facilitate the onward movement of Ukrainian refugees. The MOU and training announced today will further strengthen the Canada-Poland defence relationship in support of the rules-based international order.
During her visit to Poland, Minister Anand also visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, and met with CAF personnel stationed in Poland to thank them for their service to Canada.
“Poland and Canada are close NATO Allies, and the progress we made at today’s meeting will help us build an even closer defence relationship. Poland and Canada have both demonstrated leadership in supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion – and the MOU and training announced today will help us reinforce the rules-based international order that keeps both of our countries safe. I thank Poland for hosting Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to the country and look forward to continued collaboration as we work together to promote international peace and security.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
Canada was the first NATO country to approve Poland joining the Alliance, in 1998.
Since the start of the Operation UNIFIER in 2015, over 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel have participated in the training delivered by the CAF.
In August 2022, Minister Anand announced the deployment of up to 225 CAF members under Operation UNIFIER to provide training to the Security Forces of Ukraine in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Operation INTERFLEX. These operations have trained 5,000 Ukrainian personnel so far in the United Kingdom.
Under Operation REASSURANCE and along with the Polish Territorial Defence Force, from April to July the CAF provided assistance in reception centres that coordinate the onward movement of Ukrainian refugees in Poland and across Europe, including medical care, spiritual guidance, and translation services.
In support of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the CAF acts as a liaison with the Polish Armed Forces to assist with the provision of temporary residence for Ukrainians wishing to work and study in Canada.
At the end of September 2022, Canada announced the deployment of an additional CC-130 and CAF personnel to Prestwick Scotland, expanding Canada’s presence there into an air mobility detachment, and expanding its capacity to deliver more Ukraine-bound military aid. The CAF has used its CC-130s in Europe to deliver four million pounds of cargo this year – largely aid destined for Ukraine.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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