Operation UNIFIER

From: National Defence

Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine. The operation’s focus is to assist with security force training. This will help them improve and build their capability and capacity. The CAF coordinates its efforts with the U.S. and other countries that support in the same way. Military training is one part of Canada’s overall support to Ukraine.

The CAF launched Operation UNIFIER in response to requests from the Government of Ukraine. The intent is to help Ukraine remain sovereign, secure, and stable.

The training mission harmonizes its efforts with other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission. This commission includes Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada became a member in January 2015.

Update:

Due to the current situation in Ukraine, all training activities have been paused, and the CAF personnel who were deployed on Op UNIFIER have temporarily returned to Canada until conditions permit a resumption of operations.

How many people are deployed?

Canada sends a group of about 200 CAF members to Ukraine every six months, with the ability to deploy up to 400 members. CAF members will be there until the end of March 2025. They come from all parts of Canada. They are selected based on the skills that they bring to the training program.

What are they doing?

As of January 31, 2022, 33,346 Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU) candidates have participated in the training provided via 726 course serials spanning all lines of effort since the start of the mission in September 2015. This number includes members of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU). To date, the CAF has provided training to 1,951 members of the NGU.

History and context of the operation

CAF training is one part of Canada’s broader support to Ukraine in:

  • development
  • security
  • democracy
  • humanitarian aid

Since 2014, Canada has provided Ukraine with more than $890 million in multifaceted assistance to support Ukraine’s security, prosperity, and reform objectives. In the long-term, reforms are the most effective strategy for building Ukraine’s resilience to Russian aggression.

Canada’s help to Ukraine includes supplying non-lethal military equipment. This is an ongoing process and includes equipment such as:

  • communications systems used for field operations
  • a mobile field hospital
  • explosive disposal equipment
  • medical kits used for military field operations
  • night vision goggles
  • personal protective and load carriage equipment
  • surveillance and detection equipment

The equipment will help improve the capabilities of the Security Forces of Ukraine.

Timeline of key events

Date Description
March 18, 2022 All members of Operation UNIFIER have returned to Canada until the resumption of training activities can take place.
February 12, 2022 Canada pauses training operations in Ukraine and relocates Op UNIFIER members outside of Ukraine.
January 26, 2022 The Government of Canada announced that it has extended and expanded Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2025.
May 2021 Joint Task Force – Ukraine moved into its new Operation UNIFIER Headquarters located in Kyiv, Ukraine. The mission Headquarters were previously located at the International Peace and Security Center in Yavoriv.
September 2020 Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) personnel joined Joint Task Force Ukraine in support of existing training development and capacity building efforts.
March 18, 2019 The Government of Canada announced that it has extended Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2022.
May 18, 2018 The Department of National Defence/ Canadian Armed Forces signed a Technical Arrangement with the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine.
March 2017 About 200 Canadian Army members deployed to relieve their counterparts. Both groups (deploying and coming back) were mainly from the 3rd Canadian Division.
March 6, 2017 The Government of Canada announced that it has extended Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2019.
November 23, 2015 Canada, Lithuania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States held a parade. This marked the stand-up of the Joint Multi-National Training Group – Ukraine headquarters. The HQ is in Starychi.
September 14, 2015 Dual ceremonies were held in Ukraine. They marked the start of the CAF military training mission. One was held in Starychi. The other in Kamyanets-Podilsky.
April 14, 2015
The Government of Canada announced that Canada would send about 200 CAF members to Ukraine. The mission would run until March 31, 2017.

Past efforts

From November 2014 to November 2015, Canada sent four major shipments of goods to Ukraine. The first shipment included cold weather clothing. It was sent in November 2014, via a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster. In January 2015, there were two shipments of non-lethal military gear sent by sea. In November 2015, the CAF helped the Government of Canada to deliver about $3 million dollars’-worth of equipment for explosives disposal.

 

External links

International missions

NATO-Ukraine relations (NATO)
U.S. European Command

News

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