Members of the 36th Naval Infantry Battalion Tactical Group conduct range training with their T-80 tanks at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Lviv, Ukraine during Operation UNIFIER on October 24, 2018. Photo: Joint Task Force-Ukraine AK02-2018-0036-004

Canada extends military training mission in Ukraine, Iraq

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In  February 2014, Russia made incursions into Ukraine, eventually annexing Crimea in March. In April at about the same time as conflict erupted between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed armed separatists, Canada announced it would send Canadian military personnel to the country to help train Ukrainian forces.

Arriving in 2015 the approximately 200 Canadian Forces personnel began their training mission which was scheduled to conclude in March 2017.

Members of Joint Task Force-Ukraine teach the 55-day training cycle at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre to the Rotational Training Unit (RTU), alongside the Ukrainian Armed Forces intructors, in Starychi, Ukraine on October 26, 2017.Photo: Joint Task Force – Ukraine  AK51-2017-0008-003

With the ongoing “insecurity” in the country, Canada said it would extend the mission known as Operation Unifier, until the end of March 2019.

Just prior to that date however, and in the face of ongoing tensions in the country, the Canadian government announced it was once again extending the mission, this time until 2022.

Since 2014 Canada has supplied Ukraine with more than $750 million in development, and humanitarian aid including non-lethal military equipment including

  • communications systems used for field operations
  • a mobile field hospital
  • explosive disposal equipment
  • medical kits used for military field operations
  • night vision goggles

Canada has also announced an extension to its mission in Iraq where there are about 500 military members.

Specially trained Canadian Armed Forces with the close-protection team assigned to JTF-Iraq, participate in ongoing training in early August to ensure they retain their advanced skills and knowledge, during Operation IMPACT.
Photo: Op IMPACT, DND  KW10-2018-0022-002

This includes about 200 on a NATO training mission, and another 120 special forces personnel with the Global Coalition Against DEASH. The Canadian troops are helping Iraqi forces deal with remaining Islamic State insurgents holding our around the city of Mossad.  Both those missions have been extended until 2021.

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