In January, Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson visited officers and crew of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton, which is deployed on Operation REASSURANCE and has troops deployed on Operation IMPACT.
During his visit, General Lawson had the opportunity to meet with deployed members, affirm the importance of the operations and observe the results and effects of their contributions to those two missions, in the Mediterranean, Kuwait and in Iraq.
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with the men and women deployed on Op REASSURANCE and Op IMPACT who have been doing such terrific work. Thanks to their exemplary professionalism, the Canadian Armed Forces continue to have a high level of support at home and a sterling reputation with our allies and regional partners,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.
Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by the CAF to support NATO assurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.
On January 6, 2015, as part of Operation REASSURANCE, the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Fredericton arrived in the Mediterranean Sea to replaced HMCS Toronto who had been supporting NATO-led maritime reassurance activities in the region as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Forces.
“General Lawson’s visit was much appreciated by the entire crew as it gave us a great opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of the new sensors and command and control system onboard the modernized Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton, as we commence Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR with our NATO Allies. The visit provided a chance for the Chief of Defence Staff to discuss various long-term initiatives and allowed the crew to gain perspective on matters of interest for the CAF and Royal Canadian Navy at the strategic level,” said Commander Jeffrey Murray, Op REASSURANCE Maritime Task Force Commander.
Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF), the multinational coalition against ISIL in the Republic of Iraq.
Approximately 600 CAF personnel are deployed as part of OP IMPACT, including an air task force (Air Task Force-Iraq), liaison officers, advisors and support elements such as command and control, medical personnel and logistics.
“The men and women of Operation IMPACT were extremely pleased to host the visit of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, the Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West and Team Canada, a team of great Canadian athletes, entertainers and business leaders. This visit from military and of famous Canadians to CAF aviators, soldiers and sailors deployed to Kuwait in support of the Government of Iraq reinforces everyone’s resolve in accomplishing Joint Task Force, Iraq’s mission,” said Brigadier-General Dan Constable, Op IMPACT Joint Task Force-Iraq Commander.
While in Iraq, General Lawson also met with regional officials to exchange information and to update them on Canada’s ongoing contributions to the advise and assist mission. His visit coincided with the delivery of non-lethal military gear announced by Minister Nicholson last week.
The donation to the Iraqi Security Forces, via DFATD’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP), included 6000 items of winterized and wet weather gear, including 1000 coats, fleece shirts and pants for cold weather operations, as well as 1000 jackets and pants for wet weather deemed surplus by the Canadian Armed Forces.
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