Operations Update – April 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 April 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.

Operation NUNALIVUT | Northern Canada

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) successfully concluded Operation NUNALIVUT 2017 on March 10, 2017, after two weeks of surveillance and control operations near Hall Beach and Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

Over 350 CAF members, including the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, participated in the exercise with other government departments and agencies, focusing on long-range patrols, diving operations, and survival training in the High Arctic.

Divers from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic, along with CAF combat divers from across Canada and Royal Canadian Mounted Police divers, conducted ice diving operations in Resolute Bay.

Operation NUNALIVUT provides the CAF with an opportunity to operate in the northernmost regions of Canada. It enhances the CAF’s capability to respond to a variety of situations in northern Canada.

Operation PALACI | British Columbia

Operation PALACI began on November 29, 2016 and is expected to continue until April 2017.

This season, artillery troops have fired approximately 500 105 mm rounds due to significant snowfall in British Columbia. Cumulatively, more than 11 metres of snow have fallen this season at the Parks Canada weather station at Mount Fidelity (elevation 1905 metres) and almost 6.5 metres at the weather station at Rogers Pass (elevation 1315 metres).

Operation PALACI is the CAF’s contribution to Parks Canada's avalanche-control program in Rogers Pass. Its aims to prevent uncontrolled, naturally occurring avalanches, keeping essential road and rail links between British Columbia and the rest of Canada open.

Search and rescue | Across Canada

As of March 31, 2017, the three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres have tasked CAF assets 151 times to conduct SAR operations this year: 28 taskings from Victoria, 54 taskings from Trenton, and 69 taskings from Halifax.

The CAF works with its partners to provide effective SAR response in the most difficult of conditions across Canada. The Canadian Search and Rescue program is based on cooperation and teamwork as demonstrated by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Coast Guard and the network of Federal, Provincial/Territorial governments, civilian organizations and volunteers, and various police forces.

Operation CARIBBE | Caribbean and Eastern Pacific

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Saskatoon, in cooperation with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) seized approximately 660 kg of cocaine on March 12, 2017, in international waters in the eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America.

HMCS Saskatoon intercepted the suspicious vessel initially spotted by a maritime patrol aircraft on routine patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean. HMCS Saskatoon then launched a rigid hulled inflatable boat with an embarked USCG Law Enforcement Detachment team to halt the vessel of interest. The panga-style vessel was boarded and three suspected smugglers were apprehended by the USCG Law Enforcement Detachment. Several bales of cocaine were recovered from both the panga and the ocean after the suspected smugglers attempted to jettison their cargo.

From March 2 to 5, 2017, HMCS Saskatoon participated in a North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) Exercise with ships from the United States Coast Guard and Mexico’s Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) to rehearse tactical procedures related to trafficking interdictions.

HMCS Saskatoon is currently patrolling the eastern Pacific as part of Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.

Operation ARTEMIS | Middle East

In March 2017, ships deployed as part of the Canadian-led, Australian-supported Combined Task Force 150 conducted three separate drug seizures: On March 2, Royal Australian Navy Ship HMAS Arunta seized more than 800 kg of hashish; on March 13, United States Ship USS Laboon seized 270 kg of heroin; and on March 17, USS Laboon seized 500 kg of hashish.

Operation ARTEMIS is the CAF’s participation in counterterrorism and maritime security operations in Middle Eastern waters. In early December 2016 Canada deployed 28 CAF personnel and two Department of National Defence civilian employees to lead CTF 150 until April 2017.

Operation IMPACT | Middle East

On March 31, 2017, the Government of Canada announced that it has extended Operation IMPACT until June 30, 2017.

On March 3, 2017, Brigadier-General Daniel MacIsaac assumed command of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I) at a ceremony at Camp Canada in Kuwait.

As of April 8, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has conducted 2847 sorties*:

CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller conducted 707 sorties, delivering some 41 500 000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft; and

CP-140 Aurora aircraft conducted 762 reconnaissance missions.

*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 UNIFIER | Ukraine

On March 6, 2017, the Government of Canada announced that it has extended Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2019.

On March 7, 2017, the new commander of Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U), Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Lubiniecki, assumed command from Lieutenant-Colonel Wayne Niven during a ceremony at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine.

The ceremony also marked the arrival of a new rotation of troops, primarily from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. The outgoing troops were also mostly from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

Operation UNIFIER is Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with the U.K., the U.S. and other countries providing similar training assistance.

Since the start of the mission in September 2015, more than 3200 Ukrainian Armed Forces members have participated in training provided by the CAF via some 90 course serials.

Operation REASSURANCE | Central and Eastern Europe

From March 7 to March 31, 2017, about 200 members of the Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force (LTF) participated in the multi-national Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT VI in Hohenfels, Germany. In addition to an infantry company, the LTF also provided logistics and medical support to the exercise. The goal of the exercise was to enhance the ability of military forces in Europe, including CAF members, to work together.

From March 13 to 25, 2017, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. John’s, its crew of about 240 personnel, and its CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment took part in Exercise DYNAMIC MANTA 2017 near Italy, the host nation. The aim of the exercise was to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training in order to enhance interoperability and skills in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

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

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