Canada to lead NATO Mission Iraq for another year

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Read: 692     17:39     11 July 2019    

At the end of June, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that his country will continue to command NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) until November 2020, rather than handing off leadership to another country in November of this year, as had been previously planned. NMI beganits work on October 31, 2018, after NATO leaders announced the formation of the mission at a July 2018 summit in Brussels. 


NMI is a “non-combat training and capacity building mission” and is designedto “train the trainers”—under NMI, NATO personnel train Iraqi military instructors in various areas such as countering improvised explosive devices and civil-military relations. The mission comprises 580 NATO personnel, including some 250 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, and is based in Baghdad. NATO personnel also advise officials within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Canadian Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin has led NMI since its inception. The Canadian presence consists of four elements: a force protection element, headquarters staff, advisers and trainers who work with Iraqi military trainers, and an in-theater tactical transport unit made up of three CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Under the extension, the CAF is not set to increase the number of deployed personnel. NMI will see a command change, however, with Brig. Gen. Jennie Carignan, soon to be promoted, to take over command from Fortin. As the CBC News reports, Carignan has forged a reputation as a “trailblazing female officer.” She led a task force of engineers in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in 2010 and is one of “fewer than a dozen women currently serving at the general officer rank.”

Canada’s contribution to NMI is but one facet of its operations in the region. In total, Canada has 850 personnel stationed in the Middle East as part of Operation Impact. Impact was originally conceived as Canada’s contribution to the Global Coalition’s operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) but is now geared primarily toward improving the capabilities of the Iraqi government’s security forces. The Canadian contribution to the fight against IS began under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration, with Canadian CF-188 Hornet jets commencing airstrikes on IS targets in late 2014. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to pull Canada’s fighter jets from the region, with the CAF ceasing airstrike operations in March 2016. The oppositional Conservative Party sharply criticized Trudeau’s decision to pull the Hornets, but since then, it has become evident that the Trudeau government’s contribution to coalition efforts in Iraq has been sustained and serious.



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News Line

Canada to lead NATO Mission Iraq for another year

2019/07/170701-F-CH060-0022-1562852443.jpg
Read: 693     17:39     11 July 2019    

At the end of June, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that his country will continue to command NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) until November 2020, rather than handing off leadership to another country in November of this year, as had been previously planned. NMI beganits work on October 31, 2018, after NATO leaders announced the formation of the mission at a July 2018 summit in Brussels. 


NMI is a “non-combat training and capacity building mission” and is designedto “train the trainers”—under NMI, NATO personnel train Iraqi military instructors in various areas such as countering improvised explosive devices and civil-military relations. The mission comprises 580 NATO personnel, including some 250 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, and is based in Baghdad. NATO personnel also advise officials within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Canadian Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin has led NMI since its inception. The Canadian presence consists of four elements: a force protection element, headquarters staff, advisers and trainers who work with Iraqi military trainers, and an in-theater tactical transport unit made up of three CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Under the extension, the CAF is not set to increase the number of deployed personnel. NMI will see a command change, however, with Brig. Gen. Jennie Carignan, soon to be promoted, to take over command from Fortin. As the CBC News reports, Carignan has forged a reputation as a “trailblazing female officer.” She led a task force of engineers in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in 2010 and is one of “fewer than a dozen women currently serving at the general officer rank.”

Canada’s contribution to NMI is but one facet of its operations in the region. In total, Canada has 850 personnel stationed in the Middle East as part of Operation Impact. Impact was originally conceived as Canada’s contribution to the Global Coalition’s operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) but is now geared primarily toward improving the capabilities of the Iraqi government’s security forces. The Canadian contribution to the fight against IS began under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration, with Canadian CF-188 Hornet jets commencing airstrikes on IS targets in late 2014. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to pull Canada’s fighter jets from the region, with the CAF ceasing airstrike operations in March 2016. The oppositional Conservative Party sharply criticized Trudeau’s decision to pull the Hornets, but since then, it has become evident that the Trudeau government’s contribution to coalition efforts in Iraq has been sustained and serious.



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