A change of command ceremony was held in South Camp of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Egypt last week to transfer command of Operation CALUMET to Col. Michael Sullivan.
Sullivan took command from Col. Martin Lipcsey.
“I am extremely proud to have lead this fine group of men and women over the past year. They came to the Sinai during a time of massive change for the Multinational Force and Observers, coupled with a very challenging operating environment, and handled themselves with the professionalism and composure for which Canadian Armed Forces members are known. I know the new members of the Canadian Contingent will continue this exceptional tradition of service to this operation—one operation, one of the longest and most successful peacekeeping missions in the world,” said Col. Lipcsey.
The ceremony was presided over by the Force Commander of the MFO, Australian Major-General Simon Stuart.
“I thank Colonel Lipcsey and the members of the Canadian contingent for their service to the Multinational Force and Observers and for demonstrating the professionalism and teamwork vital in this multinational environment. Welcome to Colonel Sullivan and his team who continue Canada’s valued and continuous contribution to this important and successful peacekeeping mission,” said MGen. Simon Stuart.
Throughout his career, Sullivan has served both at home and abroad in a variety of command and staff positions. The artillery officer deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Jan. 1997 and in 2001. He also later was deployed to Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Detachment of the Afghan Army National Training Centre in Kabul from July 2005 to June 2006.
Most recently, he was Chief of Staff for the 5th Canadian Division.
“It is both a privilege and an honour to command Operation CALUMET. Colonel Lipcsey led this force of highly-trained men and women dedicated to keeping the peace between Egypt and Israel. I look forward to working with Multinational Force and Observers partners, our hosts in this region, and to represent the Canadian Armed Forces in their contribution to the peace support efforts in this region,” said the Incoming Commander of Operation CALUMET.
In his new position, Sullivan will command approximately 70 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel as part of Task Force El Gorah. The CAF contingent includes senior advisors, headquarters staff, and experts in fields such as logistics, engineering, and training, as well as a flight-following unit. It also includes Military Police officers who conduct community-based policing duties in South Camp and Forward Operating Base North of the multinational peacekeeping force.
“I extend my appreciation to Colonel Lipcsey for his commitment to Operation CALUMET and for the contributions he and his contingent made to the Multinational Force and Observers over the course of the past year. I am confident that under the command of Colonel Sullivan, Operation CALUMET will continue to work effectively to promote peace and security in the region and will demonstrate leadership with Canada’s like-minded nation partners,” said LGen. Stephen Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command and reviewing officer at the change of command ceremony.
Established in 1981, the MFO is an independent international organization with peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai Peninsula. It was established by the United States with Egypt and Israel.
Twelve nations including Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay, contribute personnel to MFO.
MFO Sinai is the largest element of the MFO and is a joint organization with army, air, and naval components. As of June 2017, the MFO’s Force numbered approximately 1300 personnel.