Operation ILLUMINATION began following a request from Iceland for support while their country’s air surveillance radars underwent scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
From the beginning of February 2020 to May 15, 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed personnel and a mobile air surveillance radar system via strategic airlift to Iceland. The CAF’s support ensured uninterrupted long-range radar coverage in Iceland. The radar system also covered the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom gap which is a strategic transit route of the North Atlantic Ocean.
How many people were deployed
30 Royal Canadian Air Force personnel from 12 Radar Squadron based out of 3 Wing Bagotville (Québec), and the AN/TPS-70 radar system were deployed under Operation ILLUMINATION as Air Detachment-Iceland.
History and context of the operation
Canada is a founding member of NATO and is dedicated to supporting the Alliance. As an active leader, Canada continues to make significant and ongoing contributions to:
- reinforce NATO’s collective defence
- demonstrate the strength of Allied solidarity and the ability of Allied nations to operate together
- detect and prevent potential threats to Allied nations and security partners
NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s foreign policy. One of Canada’s contribution to NATO involves deploying CAF personnel and equipment wherever and whenever they are needed to meet collective defence responsibilities. The CAF’s assistance ensures that critical operational capabilities can continue and supports NATO’s military operations and related activities.