Minister announces Canadian Combat Engineers to deploy to Poland

Above image: Minister of National Defence Anita Anand visits Poland. 

Approximately 40 combat engineers will deploy to Poland in the coming weeks to support the Polish-led sapper training program for the Security Forces of Ukraine.

The announcement was made Tuesday by the Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, from Poland while the minister is on a visit to the Eastern European country.

Under Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) combat engineers will be providing training on basic and advanced engineering skills, engineering reconnaissance, the use of explosives for demolition work, and demining.

Members of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment conduct a hasty minefield breach during Exercise ORNERY RAM 2019 at 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Garrison training area in Wainright, Alberta, April 7, 2019. Photo: Caporal Djalma Vuong-De Ramo

Support for Ukraine

After a temporary hiatus on Operation UNIFIER, the CAF’s operation to train the Ukrainian military restarted in August. Approximately 225 CAF members were deployed to the United Kingdom to support their efforts to train the Security Forces of Ukraine. Since then, 5,000 Ukrainians have been trained in the United Kingdom.

Canada has supported Ukraine through other means in the last few months, namely by supporting Polish efforts. From April to July, the CAF provided assistance in reception centres in Poland and across Europe that welcomed Ukrainian refugees. Some of the services offered included medical care, spiritual guidance, and translation services.

According to DND, in support of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the CAF acts as a liaison with the Polish Armed Forces to help Ukrainian refugees wishing to migrate to Canada.

Image source courtesy of MND Twitter.

The Minister’s trip to Poland

During the Minister’s trip to Poland, she met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak. The ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in order to “enhance and strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between Canada and Poland.”

According to DND, the MOU will allow the countries’ militaries to learn from one another, train together, and enable cross-industry defence collaboration to modernize military technology.

Image source courtesy of MND Twitter.

Thanked Troops for Service

Also, during her visit, Anand visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and met with CAF personnel stationed in Poland to thank them for their service to Canada.

“Poland and Canada are close NATO Allies, and the progress we made at today’s meeting will help us build an even closer defence relationship. Poland and Canada have both demonstrated leadership in supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion – and the MOU and training announced today will help us reinforce the rules-based international order that keeps both of our countries safe. I thank Poland for hosting Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to the country and look forward to continued collaboration as we work together to promote international peace and security,” said Minister Anand.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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