Operations Update – December 2017

Attention: This page is updated on a monthly basis

Please note that this page is updated on a monthly basis. The information below was last updated on December 8, 2017.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations monthly update is designed to give a current overview of ongoing CAF missions in Canada, North America, and around the world. Every month, the narrative highlights recent developments on ongoing missions, provides information on upcoming exercises and operations, and recaps completed events and initiatives.

Search and Rescue (SAR) | Across Canada

The three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres tasked CAF assets 68 times to conduct SAR operations during the month of October.


  • On November 10, the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked two CH-149 Cormorant aircraft and a CC-130 Hercules to assist with the rescue of two persons on board a fishing vessel near Magdalen, Quebec. The vessel declared an emergency due to deteriorating weather and was rolling severely. One of the Cormorants lowered an inflated life raft to the vessel and the two persons boarded the raft. The Cormorant was then able to hoist the fishermen off the raft and bring them to Charlottetown, PEI. 
  • On December 7, the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg, HMCS Yellowknife and a CH-124 Sea King helicopter to rescue the occupant of a sailing vessel that had run aground at Race Rocks, British Columbia. The Sea King rescued the person on board a the vessel and transported them to the Royal Jubilee Hospital.
  • On November 6, the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CC-130 Hercules and a CH-146 Griffon to conduct the rescue of a lone occupant of a small aircraft that crashed near Marathon, Ontario. The Griffon extracted the pilot of the small aircraft and transported them to Marathon Hospital.

In Canada, search and rescue is a shared responsibility between government, military, volunteer, academic, and industry groups. The CAF’s main responsibility is providing SAR from the air.  It also coordinates the national response for air, ground and maritime SAR. 

Operation PALACI | British Columbia

On November 20, 17 CAF Artillery troops began serving on Operation PALACI in Rogers Pass in support of Parks Canada. The troops are mainly from 1er Régiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery with reinforcement from reservists across the country.

Operation PALACI is CAF support for the Parks Canada program to control avalanches in Rogers Pass, British Columbia.

Operation CARIBBE | Caribbean

A CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft has deployed to provide surveillance in direct support of the US Joint Interagency Task Force South.

Her Majesty's Canadian Ships (HMCS) Moncton and Nanaimo played an active role in the month of November to intercept and assist with the seizure of a large quantity of illicit drugs and have been credited with the disruption of additional quantities of contraband. Both Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels continued to work hand-in-hand with the United Sates Coast Guard with embarked law enforcement detachments to play an active role in thwarting illicit trafficking in the region. On December 6, 2017, HMCS Nanaimo completed its deployment on Operation CARIBBE. HMCS Moncton completed its deployment on December 8 ,2017.

Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, a U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South-led interagency and multinational effort comprised of 14 countries that aims to improve regional security and deter criminal activity. To date, the CAF has directly contributed to the seizure and disruption of close to 80 metric tonnes of illicit drugs over the 11 years it has been involved in this operation.

Operation ELEMENT | Quebec

Operation ELEMENT is the CAF contribution to a whole of government response to an influx of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the Unites States. The CAF were tasked with providing temporary accommodations and making them available to our federal and civilian partners for use.

In November, in close coordination with Public Safety and Canada Border Services Agency, the CAF have continued to reduce the number of military accommodations at the Interim Lodging Site in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec. Accommodations over the winter months will be facilitated by Canada Border Services Agencies.

Operation IMPACT | Middle East

On November 11, 2017, approximately 20 Canadian Army engineers began delivering explosive threat training to the Iraqi security forces in Besmaya, Iraq. To better meet the Coalition’s needs, the CAF is also adjusting its aircraft contributions. The CAF has deployed a second CC-130J Hercules aircraft to join Joint Task Force – Iraq, while the CP-140 Aurora detachment will return to Canada in mid-December.

As of December 2, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has flown 3 427 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller flew 890 sorties. It delivered nearly 52 800 000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft;
  • CP-140 Aurora aircraft flew 877 reconnaissance missions; and
  • CC-130J Hercules aircraft flew 282 sorties. It delivered some 1 701 700 pounds of cargo.

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

Operation IMPACT is the CAF contribution to the Global Coalition to dismantle and ultimately defeat Daesh.

Operation REASSURANCE | Central and Eastern Europe

Operation REASSURANCE is the CAF contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

Maritime Task Force:

From October 15 to November 7, 2017, HMCS Charlottetown conducted a Rest and Maintenance Period (RAMP) in Split, Croatia. This provided the opportunity for members of the ship’s company to take mission leave and allowed for the conduct of essential maintenance, including the replacement of a diesel generator. Following the RAMP, HMCS Charlottetown was re-tasked to provide associated support to NATO maritime security operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Air Task Force – Romania:

Building on their NATO partnership with the Romanian Air Force, the Air Task Force (ATF) has been conducting ground school training with flight crews and support personnel, and is conducting a variety of training missions on a daily basis, all in support of their enhanced Air Policing mandate. On November 1, 2017, the ATF conducted a tri-national Emergency Response Plan exercise with their Host Nation (HN) and US Army counterparts, fostering the development of common emergency procedures and best practices. The Remembrance Day period provided the ATF with several opportunities to stand side by side with their HN and regional allies, to commemorate an important Canadian and allied milestone.

Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia:

During the month of November, the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Latvia took part in many Latvian Patriot Month activities honouring those Latvians who lost their lives in their fight for independence 99 years ago.  Similar to Canada’s Remembrance Week, multinational soldiers from the battlegroup attended Latvian schools to speak about their NATO deployment and their own personal military history.

The eFP Battlegroup Latvia conducted several training courses at Camp Adazi for eFP Battlegroup soldiers and other Allies. This included the construction of hasty field fortifications, counter-IED and unexploded ordnances training, a basic reconnaissance patrolman course, and small arms training. The Canadian contingent also led winter warfare training for Slovenian and Spanish partners in the battlegroup.

Operation UNIFIER | Ukraine

As of November 1, 2017, the CAF Joint Task Force-Ukraine has trained about 5000 Ukrainian soldiers. There have been 112 course serials that covered all types of training.

Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces mission to support the Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine. The operation’s focus is to assist the Ukrainian armed forces with military training as well as provide mentorship to their instructors.

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