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Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis

Bird_Gunner45 said:
ASAB- the textbook definition of a self licking lollipop ice cream dispenser.... 5 log organizations within 500 metres

FTFY.  Considering the DFAC there, it's much more appropriate.  :nod:
Two more years - more from the info-machine ...
Canada renews its military contribution to support stability in the Middle East
From: National Defence
News release
March 18, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The international response against Daesh has reduced the suffering of the most vulnerable, but the crises in Iraq and Syria persist. Continued support by the members of the Global Coalition Against Daesh is critical for long-term, regional stability. Canada remains fully dedicated to the efforts of the Global Coalition and NATO in the region, and will continue to work with its partners and allies to ensure the defeat of Daesh.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada is extending Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the Global Coalition and the NATO mission in Iraq, until the end of March 2021.

Under the renewed Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to provide training, advice, and assistance to the Iraqi security forces, and support the Global Coalition and NATO with highly skilled personnel. It will also continue to advise Iraqi officials in building more effective and sustainable defence and security institutions, and provide capabilities to regional forces.

The Canadian Armed Forces' presence in the Middle East helps regional partners’ security forces to more effectively plan and execute military operations aimed at improving stability in the region.

Operation IMPACT is the military contribution to Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, which covers not only security and stabilization, but also humanitarian assistance and diplomatic engagement in Iraq, Syria and the region.


    “The renewal of Operation IMPACT and our shift in focus toward capacity-building, reflects Canada’s commitment to working with our partners in the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh and with our NATO Allies.The Canadian Armed Forces has consistently contributed to multinational operations and will continue doing its part by enhancing the institutional capacity of Iraqi security forces.”

    - The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

    “Canada is committed to lasting peace and security for the people of Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region. This is why we’re proud to extend our contributions to the Global Coalition against Daesh, including military assistance, and to support NATO activities for peace and stability in the region.”

    - The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

    Since 2016, through the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, Canada has contributed more than $2.1 billion toward security, stabilization and humanitarian and development assistance needs in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon.

    The two-year extension of Operation IMPACT includes the authority to deploy up to 850 Canadian Armed Forces personnel in support of the Global Coalition, NATO Mission Iraq and capacity building activities with the Jordanian Armed Forces and Lebanese Armed Forces.

    On July 11, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the NATO Summit in Brussels, announced that Canada would assume command of NATO Mission Iraq a new non-combat training and capacity building mission in Iraq. 

    In November 2018, Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq. This leadership role complements Canada’s existing efforts in the Global Coalition and Canada’s ongoing commitments towards creating a safe and stable Iraq.

    Canada’s current contribution to NATO Mission Iraq includes approximately 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, including advisors, trainers, headquarters staff and force protection personnel. Canada has also deployed three Griffon helicopters and associated personnel to enhance in-theatre tactical transport, including casualty evacuations, if required ...
Bit more @ link
This from the NATO Association of Canada, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act ...
Operation IMPACT: A Sit-Down with Brigadier-General Colin Keiver

Operation IMPACT is currently the largest deployed operation in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The operation consists of Canada’s contribution to global efforts to defeat the threat of Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. It consists of two phases. The first entailed reversing the territorial gain of Daesh, while the second involves increasing regional security. Alongside international allies, the operation started in 2014 and has been renewed by the Canadian Government until March 2021. Brigadier-General Colin Keiver, former Commander of Joint Task-Force IMPACT, was in charge of the Canadian contribution to the U.S.-led Global Coalition. Operation IMPACT is Canada’s capacity building operation in the Middle East. Canada’s military is working hand-in-hand with Coalition, NATO, and partner nations to train, advise, and assist the military forces of Iraq, as well as Jordan and Lebanon. Security is an important pillar of post-conflict reconstruction and helping partner nations improve their military capabilities in one of the critical means by which the CAF are helping defeat violent extremist groups, like Daesh, and increase the security and stability of the Middle East.  Two program editors, Basel Ammane and Farzin Bakhtiar, from the NATO Association of Canada, had the opportunity to conduct an interview with the Brigadier-General at the Denison Armoury.

Editors: What was your specific role in Operation IMPACT in Iraq?

Brigadier-General Keiver: I was the commander of the joint task force Operation IMPACT. That means that as the senior Canadian on the ground, I was the national command and support element for all Canadian Armed Forces and personnel, not just in Iraq but also in Jordan and Lebanon.

Editors: In what ways does Operation IMPACT differ from other operations the CAF has been a part of in the past?

Brigadier-General Keiver: Operation IMPACT started similar to many of our other missions in terms of what I would characterize as a hard military mission. You know, aircraft, dropping bombs, and all those things. Because of the needs and requirements of the changing situation, Op IMPACT has become very much about building partner capacity. In other words, giving the Iraqis, the Jordanians and the Lebanese the means to enhance and maintain security within their own countries, by themselves. What has happened is that now, we are very much in the background as compared to the forefront. It’s focused much more on our partners as compared to the men and women in the Canadian forces. We view ourselves as the ones that are there to train, mentor, and to assist them so they get to a point where they can maintain stability on their own. There were elements of that in Afghanistan, but there was also that hard kinetic element in terms of having a battle group on the ground. In this case, there is no real combat element to Op IMPACT anymore, it is very much entirely about building partner capacity on a larger level and through a regional approach.

Editors: What do you mean by ‘regional’? Are you referring to Op IMPACT being in Jordan and Lebanon as well?

Brigadier-General Keiver: When I say ‘regional approach’, I’m referring to the fact that the CAF effort in Op IMPACT is very much nested in the Government of Canada’s strategy in the Middle East, and the nations specifically identified within that Middle East strategy are Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. The region stretches from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. The goal is to ensure that they’ve got the means to maintain stability because if those governments fall, then they end up in the same place as Iraq was in 2014.  In that way, the governments in those countries will have more time and space to deal with all the other things outside of the security realm like the provision of essential services, the distribution of resources, the settlement of grievances, etc.

Editors: Although Operation IMPACT is a regional approach, does it somewhat vary in the approaches taken towards a certain country?

Brigadier-General Keiver: Yes. Operation IMPACT has its own nexus on the security environment, and each effort in those countries is tailored to that country because they all have different needs and requirements. So, by taking a regional approach, it allowed us to develop a better understanding of how things to play together. We were able to leverage the few resources we do have, and then as a regional commander, I can move resources around the theater as required. It is very much a country by country approach.

Editors: What are some indicators Operation IMPACT uses to gauge the extent to which progress has been made in terms of training and capacity building?

Brigadier-General Keiver: That’s a good question. Indicators are tough, they are difficult to develop and it’s something we continually talk about. Initially, when we started the building partner capacity mission in Iraq, it was very much in reaction to an existential threat. It was about getting the Iraqi security forces through training and onto the field, so they could liberate Iraq from Daesh. Now that that’s been achieved, the performance indicators and measures of success are changing. It’s now not examining just their ability to conduct military operations, but the way in which they conduct military operations. Are they respecting the law of armed conflict? Are they respecting human rights? Are they detaining people in the conduct of operations and then ensuring that those detainees are taken in to custody properly and then turned over to competent legal authorities? Those are the fundamental questions that we are all looking at, in terms of success. A short way of putting it, is that the measures of success and the indicators change as the needs and requirements change. It’s a continuous process we go through to make sure we are measuring as best as we can at that time.

Editors: So far, have the expectations of deployment training matched with the realities found in Iraq?

Brigadier-General Keiver: I think pre-deployment training is an interesting question in the sense that I don’t think we can ever completely replicate what the Canadian Armed Forces’ men and women are going to go into when they get there. I can put them in a training scenario in Canada, but without actually immersing them, not just in that operating environment, but also in that culture and society, it is really hard to get it a hundred percent. The idea is to get them to a point that is good enough, so you have a clear caveat going into the mission, with eyes and mind wide open prepared to learn. And what I see happening in Op IMPACT is that our CAF men and women are learning probably just about as much as the people we are working with because it’s not just a matter of doing anymore. It’s a matter of teaching, and in order to be a good teacher you have to elevate your knowledge. And in order to teach, you have to have knowledge of that society. It a continuous process. The pre-deployment training gives them enough to get out the door. But, the evolution and development of the soldiers happens during the entirety of the mission. They get better, the longer they’re there.

Editors: What would you say have been the most challenging aspects of the mission?

Brigadier-General Keiver: The geographic dispersion of the mission. Op IMPACT is operating literally from the Mediterranean all the way to the Persian Gulf, and then all the way down to Qatar. So, you’re operating in a geographic region that is huge, and then within that geographic region, you’ve got very small specialized elements of the team. So, the challenge is really maintaining the ability to affect command and control over a geographic region that large, while making sure that we are doing the right thing. You got to weigh in the cultural sensitivities, the uniqueness of each nation, the uniqueness of each of the requirements and so on. It was really difficult to put it all into a single two-page briefing note for Ottawa because it’s so complex and it takes you that long to gain that understanding of what’s going on there. That was absolutely my biggest challenge.

Editors: In general, do you think foreign military missions have a responsibility to ensure a long term reconstruction plan?

Brigadier-General Keiver: I will state categorically that reconstruction is not the role of the military. Reconstruction is the role of the government; it is the role of international organizations, the UN, things like that. The military is very much about going in and getting the security situation to a point where, instead of people trying to do horrible things to one another, they’re actually willing to sit and talk because they know that the consequences of doing horrible things are more horrible things. What has happened with the military campaign in Iraq, in particular, is that it has gotten to a point where Iraq has been liberated from Daesh control in terms of the physical caliphate. Daesh is now an insurgency trying to rebuild itself in the background. The Iraqi security forces with the broader coalition are working hard to keep that insurgency down as much as possible. It is about the Iraqis while the broader society and government sort out the other things, including reconstruction. The military really does not have a significant role to play in reconstruction. There are some specific elements of the projects that we might get involved in, like bridges or common infrastructure, where there is a joint requirement whereby we both need to move people. In that case we could build a bridge, but reconstruction is a different part. It would fall into that stability piece as compared to the security piece.

Editors: This final question is in regards to Operation Presence (the mission in Mali). What are your thoughts about Operation IMPACT being prioritized over the campaign in Mali, since the government plans to pull out in July?

Brigadier-General Keiver: interesting that you have that perspective, from my perspective as the commander of Op IMPACT, it was made very clear to me that Op IMPACT was not the highest priority. Mali was actually a higher priority in the department than Op IMPACT in terms of generating the mission from a departmental perspective. The decision to cease Op Presence is a governmental decision, so from a departmental perspective it was absolutely at a high priority, and there were three general missions that we highly prioritized. These were Op Reassurance, Op IMPACT and Op Presence. The decision to pull them out of Mali was absolutely a governmental decision, not a departmental one.

Editors: Thank you, General, for your time.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.
Text also attached in case link doesn't work.


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Kurds:  Canada, you in?
Canada is being invited to once again provide training to Iraq‘s Kurdish security forces, who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian soldiers in the war against the Islamic State group before being frozen out in 2017.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Iraqi Kurdistan’s top diplomat in Washington, insisted her people don’t harbour any ill will toward Canada for suspending and later ending years of military assistance to the Kurdish military, called the peshmerga.

Yet with the Kurdish government working on a major reform of the peshmerga to ensure they are better able defend the region from ISIL and various other threats, Abdul Rahman said Canadian assistance would be welcome.

“We are committed to it because we recognize that Kurdistan needs a professional, national, unified military,” she said. “This reform program is long term … Canada could play a role in many aspects of that reform program.”

The decision to end assistance to the peshmerga followed an outbreak of violence between Kurdish and Iraqi government forces in October 2017 over control of oil-rich territory in the north of the country liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Prior to that, Canadian special forces had for three years trained and advised the Kurds in the defence of their semi-independent region from ISIL before working together to free large swathes of territory from ISIL’s grasp.

The federal Liberals recently extended Canada’s military mission in Iraq through 2021, with much of the focus on training Iraqi military forces through NATO and other partnerships ...
More @ link
Canada's lead continues, with a new boss - highlights mine …
Canada remains steadfast in our support to NATO. We have demonstrated a readiness to provide leadership where it is needed and are committed to strengthening the transatlantic bond. As a result, we are now leading three NATO efforts globally, including NATO Mission Iraq, where we are working to support stability and security in the Middle East.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced that Canada will continue command of NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) for a second year until November 2020. Major-General Dany Fortin, who took command in November 2018, will transfer command in the fall of 2019 to Brigadier-General Jennie Carignan, who will be promoted to the rank of Major-General. Brigadier-General Carignan is currently the Commander of 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East based in Quebec.

As Commander of NATO Mission Iraq, Major-General Fortin has been leading several hundred trainers, advisers, and support staff, from Allied countries and non-NATO partners, including Australia, Sweden, and Finland, as well as up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces members. 

NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. It is founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It aims to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions and advancing Security Sector Reform.

Canada’s leadership of NATO Mission Iraq complements our existing efforts in the Global Coalition against Daesh, and our ongoing support to Iraq, as we move forward from the successful fight against Daesh.

Under Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces is also providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity.


Quick facts

    NATO Mission Iraq was first announced at the Brussels Summit in July 2018 in response to a request from the Government of Iraq. To date, the mission has consisted of approximately 580 NATO personnel, including up to 250 CAF members.

    NATO personnel advise Iraqi officials in the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the National Security Advisor and train instructors, through the concept of “training the trainers,” at Iraqi military schools and academies in such areas as:
        Countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED);
        Civil-military planning;
        Armoured vehicle maintenance; and
        Medical care.

    NATO’s advisory activities are conducted in Baghdad, including in the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, the Office of the National Security Advisor, and relevant national security institutions. NATO’s training activities are carried out at the Iraqi military schools in the Baghdad area, Taji and Besmaya.

    Brigadier-General Carignan has held several command positions including Commander of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment, Commander of Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment, and Commandant of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean. She also deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Golan Heights, and Afghanistan ...
Carignan bio attached - more @ link, or in attached text if link doesn't work.


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One of the bosses drops by - via the NATO info-machine ...
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Baghdad on Monday (16 September 2019) for talks with the Iraqi government and the leadership of the Alliance’s new training mission in the country. Mr. Stoltenberg is being accompanied by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod Wolters.

The Secretary General began his trip with a visit to the Iraqi School of Military Communications at Taji, one of the educational institutions being supported by NATO. The School trains personnel from the Ministry of Defence. At Taji, Mr Stoltenberg also visited the Tactical Aviation Detachment. The Detachment houses Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopters providing essential support to NATO’s training and advisory efforts in the country.

While in Iraq, the Secretary General will also meet with the Commander of NATO Mission Iraq, Major General Dany Fortin; with Commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Lieutenant General Robert White, and with a number of senior Iraqi officials, as well as representatives of the international community.

Following a decision by Allied leaders at NATO’s 2018 Summit, hundreds of trainers and support staff from Allies and partners are now in Iraq, providing advice and support. NATO also supports a number of Iraqi military schools and academies, including the Defense University. These efforts are intended to make lraq’s forces and institutions more effective, and suppress the return of international terrorism that could threaten NATO Allies.
Pix of SecGen w/various Canadians attached from the NATO info machine as well.


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Humphrey Bogart said:
What are those bloody stars on that General Officer's collar!?
Good catch!

Maybe they're the "rank subtitles" to translate his Canadian rank - in case they don't get that 2 leaves = 2 stars?  :whistle:
milnews.ca said:
Good catch!

Maybe they're the "rank subtitles" to translate his Canadian rank - in case they don't get that 2 leaves = 2 stars?  :whistle:

I think the Brits did (do?) that when working with US forces too. 
Nothing new in Combined Joint Ops...

Why is it not everyone then?  Why not just go with the US equivalent ranks while deployed...wouldn't want anyone to be confused.

Canadian uniform should = Canadian rank.  I'm not a fan of the "I'm special!" Club...
From what I saw in coalition theatre it was not as much an I’m special as a WTF are you?  Just take a look at NATO rank insignia charts it’ll be evident that there could be confusion (look at Norway for example and see how a LCol could look like a MGen, etc.).  No doubt there is the spectrum of “Meh...” to “Preposterous!!!”

I don't disagree that there is a huge variance in equal ranks in coalitions, but my own time in the IMPACT theatre was spent on a coalition base as well with Canadian, US, Kuwait, British, Spanish, and other countries all occupying a (somewhat small) shared space.  None of the Canadian GOFOs (I served under several JTF-I Commanders), Senior Officers Task Force CWOs, etc sported non-Canadian ranks.

Journeyman said:
Just imagine if some people had nothing to whine about...  ;)

Just imagine if the CAF most senior leadership followed the orders, regs, policies they expect their subordinates to abide by and enforce... ;)

American ranks, sleeves neither rolled/not rolled up, GOFOs who aren't aircrew wearing flying suits (more so when there is a severe shortage), wearing berets vice wedge in No 1 order of dress...I could go on.  If all of these things are okay, make the changes in the Dress Instr's for the CAF.  Not just the I'm Special Club.
Do we know that MGen Fortin’s ‘stars’ aren’t covered in a relevant instruction (be it OP-specific, amendment to a Standing Order, etc.)?