A formal Change of Command ceremony was held at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine on Jan. 17 for Lt.Col. Tim Arsenault as he assumed command of Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) from Lt. Col. Jason Guiney. Joint Task Force-Ukraine is part of Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine.
“I am honoured to have the chance to lead a team of highly qualified professionals working hard to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces. I plan to build upon the excellent work of my colleague Lieutenant-Colonel Guiney and continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to enhance the capabilities of its armed forces,” said Lt.-Col. Tim Arsenault, incoming Commander of JTF-U.
As the new commander of Canadian operations in Ukraine, Arsenault will be overseeing 200 members of the CAF. The current rotation comprises of soldiers from 2nd Canadian Division Support Base located in Valcartier, Quebec, replacing personnel from 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group based at Garrison Petawawa, Ontario. The CAF members are training Ukrainian Armed Forces in areas like small team training, counter improvised explosive devices, military police training and medical training.
Arsenault is an Infantry Officer and graduated from Royal Military College. He most recently served as Commander of 3e Bataillon Royal 22e Régiment since July 2014. In the past, Arsenault has deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan.
“I am confident that under the Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Arsenault, Joint Task Force-Ukraine will continue to provide effective military training to Ukrainian Armed Forces’ personnel. I extend my appreciation to Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Guiney for his significant leadership on Operation UNIFIER during his time in Command and to the troops for their outstanding performance,” said Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.
Canada’s military training mission, Op. UNIFIER, not only provides military training but also capacity building to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, due to recent aggressions from Russia, in order to maintain the country’s sovereignty, security and stability. In partnership with the U.S., the U.K. and Ukraine, Canada is participating in various capacity-building operations including military training to enhance peace support operations interoperability, institutional capacity building and professional development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Since the mission began in Sept. 2015, 400 Ukrainian Armed Forces members have successfully been trained in small team training, first aid, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Improved Explosive Device Disposal, military police training and other training under the falls under the Military Training and Cooperation Program.
“I am extremely proud of the contribution the Canadian Armed Forces has made over the past months in Ukraine. It was an honour to lead the initial rotation of Canadian soldiers who have shown an ongoing commitment to increasing the capacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during this mission,” said Lt.-Col. Jason Guiney, the outgoing Commander of Joint Task Force Ukraine.
**Photo provided with thanks by: MCpl Melissa Spence, 4 Div – Canadian Army Public Affairs**