Operation IMPACT

Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) contribution to the Global Coalition to dismantle and ultimately defeat Daesh.

Under Operation IMPACT, the CAF conducts air operations, provides training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces, provides capacity building capabilities to regional forces, provides medical services to Coalition forces, and supports the Coalition with highly-skilled personnel.

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As of April 22, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has conducted 2,869 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller conducted 718 sorties, delivering some 42,200,000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft; and
  • CP-140 Aurora aircraft conducted 773 reconnaissance missions.

Definition - sortie: in air operations, a sortie refers to an operational flight by one aircraft. A sortie starts when one aircraft takes off and ends upon landing.

*This total includes 1378 sorties conducted by CF-18 Hornets between October 30, 2014 and February 15, 2016.

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Through the CAF efforts in support of the Global Coalition, Canada is playing an important role, alongside its partners, in setting the conditions for Iraqi security forces to achieve long-term success through self-sustainable security.

The authorized maximum number of CAF members to be deployed under Operation IMPACT is approximately 830, which includes the personnel assigned to the the train, advise, and assist mission in support of the Iraqi security forces.

Joint Task Force-Iraq

Joint Task Force-Iraq

Joint Task Force-Iraq is responsible for the national command and control of Operation IMPACT personnel and operations, and for the coordination of operations with the Coalition headquarters.

As a part of Joint Task Force-Iraq, the CAF operates an all-source intelligence centre responsible for collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing information from a variety of sources. This intelligence is then used to inform operational planning, ultimately contributing to the protection of Coalition forces and the conduct of Coalition operations.

CAF personnel strategically positioned in Coalition headquarters around the Middle East support and enable the Coalition and Iraqi security forces with high-demand skillsets in the planning and execution of military operations. These personnel have expertise in areas such as intelligence operations; targeting; and command and control.

JTF-I Detachment Erbil, known as Camp Érable, is host to the Tactical Aviation Detachment and to the Canadian-led Coalition Role 2 medical facility. Those two capabilities are directly supported by the JTF-I HQ Detachment Erbil and its some 30 CAF members.

The CAF commands a Role 2 medical facility in northern Iraq with a mandate to provide lifesaving medical and surgical care to Coalition forces. Approximately 50 CAF members are working at this facility, including command and control personnel, physicians, nurses, medical technicians, laboratory and diagnostic imaging technicians, a dental team, and support staff. Capabilities include resuscitation, damage control surgery, intensive care support, dental care, diagnostic imaging, and a medical lab. The CAF is also providing medical equipment and supplies for the facility.

Air Task Force- Iraq

Air Task Force- Iraq

As part of Joint Task Force-Iraq, Air Task Force-Iraq contributes to Coalition air operations, including:

  • one CC-150 Polaris aerial refueller to support Coalition air operations;
  • up to two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft to contribute to Coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities;
  • a tactical aviation detachment of up to four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to provide in-theatre tactical transport of Canadian troops, equipment, and supplies near Erbil. The Griffons are capable of providing casualty evacuations if required.  A variety of self-defence weapons are fitted to the aircraft for the deployment; and
  • associated aircrew and support personnel.

These aircraft represent an important part of the Canadian contribution to the Global Coalition.

Train, Advise and Assist

Train, Advise and Assist

Highly-specialized CAF members from the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command are training, advising, and assisting the Iraqi security forces in developing their military skills. This is enabling the Iraqi security forces to take the fight to Daesh in order to remove the threat posed by this group in Iraq and the region, and contributing to a more secure environment.

Capacity building

Capacity building

The CAF is engaged with regional partners through military cooperation to enhance security and stability in the region and prevent the spread of violent extremism. To that end, the CAF has deployed two training assistance teams, one to  Jordan and one to Lebanon, where they are working in close coordination with our Jordanian and Lebanese partners. The teams will aim to:

  • augment the current capacity building program for the Jordanian Armed Forces; and
  • create a new capacity building program for the Lebanese Armed Forces.

These capacity building programs may focus on individual soldier skills, infrastructure, and individual soldier equipment.

The Global Coalition’s Ministerial Liaison Team is led by a Canadian brigadier-general and is supported by staff from eight countries, including Canada. The team engages with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s staff, and the ministries of Defence and Interior to promote the development of key military leaders and build institutional capacity. This ensures that Coalition activities, such as current and future operations, are synchronized with those of the government of Iraq.

Mission Context

About Daesh

Daesh was founded in Iraq in October 2004 when the leader of Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad aligned with Al-Qaeda, creating what was then known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The group has also been known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamic State (IS), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Daesh advocates radical interpretations of Islam and claims religious authority over all Muslims. It aims to create a caliphate in the Levant region – which includes Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Cyprus and a part of southern Turkey – by converting or killing non-Sunni populations. Its ultimate objective is the establishment of a world-wide Islamic caliphate.

The group began taking control of territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014, starting with Fallujah in Iraq in January 2014 and culminating with the fall of Mosul in June 2014. Its rapid advance across Iraq and Syria has displaced millions of people, has undermined stability in Iraq and the region, and poses a threat to international security.

Daesh has fighters across Iraq and Syria, of which a number are foreign recruits.

International response

On August 7, 2014, United States President Barack Obama authorized targeted military intervention in Iraq.  A United States-led Coalition that includes many of Canada’s closest allies and partners, as well as important regional partners, is working to dismantle and ultimately defeat Daesh.

The Global Coalition is maintaining its momentum. Thus far, Iraqi security forces have taken back more than 50% of the territory initially controlled by Daesh in Iraq. In October 2016, they started their campaign to retake Mosul, the last major center of Daesh control in Iraq.

In Syria, Daesh has lost approximately 25% of the territory it once held. In early November 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces  began their operation to isolate Raqqa, Daesh’s self-proclaimed capital.

Milestones/ Mission Timeline

  • Between August 28 and September 26, 2014, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft conducted 25 flights to deliver more than 1,600,000 pounds of military supplies to Iraq.
  • October 28, 2014 – All ATF-I air assets arrived in Kuwait.
  • October 30, 2014 – Two CF-188 Hornets, one CP-140 Aurora and one CC-150T Polaris conducted their first missions as part of the Global Coalition. The two CF-188 Hornets did not conduct any airstrike during this first sortie. The successful conduct of the first ATF-I missions confirmed the integration of Canadian air assets in the Global Coalition.
  • November 2, 2014 – CF-188 Hornets conducted Canada’s first combat airstrike on Daesh targets.
  • March 30, 2015 – The CAF mission was formally extended for as many as 12 months and expanded into Syria.
  • February 8, 2016 – The Government of Canada announced its renewed and enhanced whole-of-government approach to the fight against Daesh. The mission was extended until March 31, 2017.
  • February 8, 2016 – The Government of Canada announced that the CAF will cease airstrike operations in Iraq and Syria by February 22, 2016.
  • February 15, 2016 – The CAF ceased airstrike operations in Iraq and Syria.
  • March 2016 – The Coalition Ministerial Liaison Team, led by Canadian Brigadier-General David Anderson, was launched.
  • May 2016 – The all-source intelligence centre was stood up.
  • May 2016 – 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron deployed three CH-146 Griffon helicopters to Northern Iraq to form a Tactical Aviation Detachment.
  • October 6, 2016 – 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron assumed command of the Tactical Aviation Detachment.
  • November 2016 – The CAF assumed the lead of a Coalition Role 2 medical facility in Northern Iraq.
  • March 31, 2017 – The Government of Canada announced it has extended Operation IMPACT until June 30, 2017.

Delivery of military supplies to Iraq

Between August 28 and September 26, 2014, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft conducted 25 flights to deliver more than 1,600,000 pounds (725,000 kilograms) of military supplies to Iraq. The donations from allied countries included small arms, ammunition and other military equipment. The supplies were delivered in concert with military partners including the United Kingdom and the United States, to security forces working in Baghdad and Erbil.


Canada has allocated approximately $305.9 million towards the extension and refocusing of the mission. This includes $41.9 million to be allocated for redeployment of personnel and equipment in 2016-17.

External Links

Government of Canada


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