The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) plan to expand contributions to the Global Coalition against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by adding three CH-146 Griffon Helicopters and additional trainers to Operation IMPACT.
“The fight against ISIL depends on credible, integrated, and timely intelligence, which is essential in planning and executing military operations. The all-source intelligence centre will enhance our situational awareness along with that of the Coalition. Griffon helicopters will provide effective in-theatre tactical transport, and will enhance the capabilities of our trainers in Iraq. All of these Canadian assets will make significant contributions to Coalition operations,” said General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.
It is expected that the three Griffon helicopters will enhance in-theatre tactical transport, such as medical evacuations, if needed. The aircrafts are equipped with a variety of self-defence weapons for the deployment.
The CAF, as part of Joint Task Force-Iraq, has also officially opened an all-source intelligence centre to collect, synthesize and analyze information received from a variety of sources. This information is then used for operational planning to help protect and better arm Coalition forces.
The increase in air support and the intelligence centre are part of Canada’s enhanced mission in the fight against ISIL. The enhanced mission includes the deployment of 830 CAF members as Canada’s contribution to the Coalition efforts. The tripling of Canada’s train, advise and assist mission to help Iraqi Security Forces conduct military operations against ISIL and associated changes are expected to be completed by late summer.
Operation IMPACT is the CAF’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force to combat ISIL. As of May 14, the RCAF’s CC-150 Polaris has delivered close to 26,200,000 pounds of fuel and the CP-140 Aurora has conducted 480 reconnaissance missions. The CAF has been working on this mission since August 2014.
“These new capabilities underscore Canada’s unwavering commitment to the Global Coalition and the fight against ISIL. Canada’s expanded mission is setting the conditions for Iraqi security forces and regional partners to achieve long-term success by enabling them to effectively plan and execute military operations aimed at defeating ISIL and improving security and stability in the region,” said Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan in a press release.