Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families may want to mark their calendars as Canada is sending its largest deployment to Europe in 14 years this coming September.
Canada will deploy nearly 1650 CAF personnel to Europe to participate in NATO’s TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 exercise. Defence Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement on June 25 at a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels, Belgium.
“The Putin regime’s actions along NATO’s eastern border and growing instability in NATO’s southern neighbourhood are cause for deep concern. They demonstrate the importance of an Alliance that is well prepared to deter possible aggression or respond to an emerging crisis,” said Kenney.
TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s high visibility exercise and will be one of the Alliance’s largest exercises in recent history, with over 25,000 troops from more than 30 nations. The exercise will take place from September 28 to November 6, 2015, in multiple locations across the Alliance, including Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The purpose of the exercise is to train and test the NATO Response Force, a high readiness and technologically advanced force comprising of land, air, maritime and special forces units capable of being deployed quickly on operations wherever needed.
NATO Allies have decided to enhance the NATO Response Force by creating within it a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is a key component of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). The plan aims to respond to changes in the security environment and strengthen the Alliance’s collective defence.
Minister Kenney also announced that Canada supports in principal NATO’s VJTF and that Canada will examine how best to support NATO’s VJTF with military personnel and capabilities, such as airlift, aerial refuelling or airborne reconnaissance if requested.
“Canada’s significant participation in NATO’s TRIDENT JUNCTURE exercise and our availability to bolster NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force will help ensure both Canada and the Alliance are well positioned to respond to any crisis in a shifting security environment,” said Kenney.
Canada’s contribution to TRIDENT JUNCTURE will include up to five Royal Canadian Navy vessels including a submarine, approximately 650 Canadian Army personnel, two C-130J Hercules aircraft, and potentially one refuelling aircraft.
A Special Operations Forces component and the command of a multi-national brigade by 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters.
Canada’s participation in TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 will be the largest Canadian deployment to Europe since 2000 when Canada deployed approximately 3300 CAF personnel to support Operations ECHO, KINETIC and PALLADIUM, which were Canada’s contribution to the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo and Macedonia as well as the NATO mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina known as the Stabilization Force.
Since its inception in 1949, NATO has been a central pillar of Euro-Atlantic defence and a cornerstone of Canadian defence and security policy. The Government of Canada has been a major contributor to NATO operations since the founding of the Alliance, including our most recent contributions to NATO Assurance Measures in response to the Putin regime’s aggressive behaviour.
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