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CanadianAlly is an electronic newsletter maintained by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, designed specifically for an American audience. It presents a comprehensive look at defence and security issues from a variety of key sources. The intent is to give American citizens a better sense of the scope of Canada’s role in North American and Global Security and the War on Terror.

(October 21, 2014) - OTTAWA - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, PC, QC, MP for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence was on hand today at 4 Wing Cold Lake for the departure of CF-18 Hornets in support of Operation IMPACT.

Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) contribution to coalition assistance to security forces in the Republic of Iraq who are fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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(October 16, 2014) - OTTAWA - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:

"I am pleased to welcome home members of our Canadian Armed Forces advance reconnaissance team who returned this week from the Middle East. The reconnaissance team worked with our allies to begin forward planning for Canada's expanded mission against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and have begun briefing senior military officials on next steps.

"Building on their success, components of the Theatre Activation Team (TAT), with who will provide the infrastructure needed to sustain our CAF men and women as they undertake Operation IMPACT, departed from Trenton this week with necessary equipment and supplies.

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(October 14, 2014) - OTTAWA - "The Government of Canada has chosen to stand with our international partners to combat the terrorist threat posed by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). As the Canadian Armed Forces now prepare to deploy increased assets to the region under Operation IMPACT, I had the opportunity today to sit down with coalition partners in Washington, D.C. This meeting focused on the planning and implementation of coalition strategies to combat ISIL. We look forward to providing further information on the planning of the mission later this week.

"Over all, more than 40 nations have pledged to support coalition efforts to conduct targeted air strikes to degrade ISIL networks. This coalition includes close allies like Australia, France, Germany New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States; other NATO allies like Belgium and Denmark; and Arab countries like Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff

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(October 9, 2014) - OTTAWA - More than 500 sailors from Her Majesty's Canadian Ships (HMCS) Calgary, Winnipeg, Brandon and Yellowknife have departed from their home port of Esquimalt, BC, to take part in operations and exercises off the coast of Southern California. Supported by two CH-124 Sea King helicopters from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, the ships will participate in a Task Group Exercise (TGEX) with the United States Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force from October 20 to 31. Read the full story

(October 9, 2014) - OTTAWA - "ISIL is a threat to Canada, our Allies and to peace and security around the world. That is why our Government is committed to fighting this terrorist group while also providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by ISIL's horrendous acts of evil. I am very proud of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the work they are doing to promote a safer, more secure world for us and for future generations.

"I am pleased to announce that this morning, our Government received confirmation from the Government of Kuwait to allow Canada to use their facilities for our operations in Iraq. Our CAF reconnaissance team continues to do tremendous work in arranging the logistical details to support our mission and the Government looks forward to sharing more information as it becomes finalized.

"Canada is proud to stand with our Allies to do our part in the fight against ISIL because it is simply the right thing to do."

Read the full story

HMCS Toronto

(September 26, 2014) - OTTAWA – Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto has completed its 19 day participation in joint NATO operations in the Black Sea and will continue to take part in Operation REASSURANCE by participating in Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR under Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. HMCS Toronto was in the Black Sea from September 6 to 25.

Op REASSURANCE is part of NATO’s assurance measures deployed in the wake of the Putin regime’s ongoing military aggression and interference in Ukraine. HMCS Toronto will now be tasked with locating, tracking, reporting and boarding vessels of interest that are suspected of involvement in or support of terrorist activities in the Mediterranean Sea. Read the full story

(August 5, 2014) - OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Navy frigate, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto arrived August 3 in its designated area of operations in the Mediterranean Sea to replace HMCS Regina, which had been supporting NATO-led maritime reassurance activities in the region as part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces.

HMCS Toronto’s participation in regional maritime security operations demonstrates Canada’s on-going commitment to our NATO allies and international security and cooperation, and ensures that Canada’s Navy remains responsive and effective in today’s changing security environment Read the full story

(August 1, 2014) - OTTAWA – More than 1 000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen who deployed to the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California have completed their participation in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s premier combined and joint maritime exercise.

Canadian Armed Forces participation at RIMPAC helps build interoperability and relationships with partner nations, enhancing our ability to work together during future exercises and operations.

RIMPAC is a biennial exercise that aims to foster multinational cooperation and trust, enhance interoperability, enable professional engagement and achieve national objectives, with the collective purpose of building capable and adaptive partnerships.

Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25 000 personnel participated in RIMPAC 2014. This was the 24th exercise in the series. Canada has participated in every iteration of the exercise since its inception in 1971. Read the full story

(July 31, 2014) - HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA - Five Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships and four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraftwill participate alongside NATO allies in a multinational fleet exercise that is taking place off the Atlantic Coast beginning August 5, and continuing throughout the month.

This exercise aims to enhance combat readiness and improve interoperability and tactical excellence of the participating forces in an area of the ocean that provides a challenging learning environment. The participation of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in this exercise enhances Canada’s ability to operate with NATO Allies and enables CAF personnel to contribute to contemporary activities like Operation REASSURANCE that illustrate todays’ evolving and challenging global security environment. Read the full story

(July 24, 2014) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence, announced the Royal Canadian Navy frigate Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto is departing its home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia today to join the Standing NATO Maritime Forces in the Mediterranean Sea as a part of Operation REASSURANCE.

HMCS Toronto will replace HMCS Regina which has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May 2014.

The deployment of HMCS Toronto further demonstrates Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine and commitment to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. Read the full story

(July 10, 2014) - Upon the conclusion of training with NATO allies operating in Romania in August, Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 aircraft will relocate to Lithuania to augment the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission block 36 from September to December 2014.

Canada has committed the following to NATO’s reassurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe: six CF-18 fighter aircraft, 24 CAF staff members to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, HMCS Regina in the Mediterranean, and Canadian Army soldiers to enhance NATO interoperability and readiness.

While participating in the BAP, CF-18 Hornet crews will work with NATO allies and respond to any violations of Baltic air space. Read the full story

Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is the world’s largest international maritime exercise comprised of nations with an interest in the Pacific Rim region. RIMPAC is conducted on a biennial basis from the Hawaiian Islands and Pearl Harbour.

RIMPAC 14 is the 24th exercise in the series. It is taking place between 26 June and 1 August 2014 in the Hawaiian and Southern California area.

The exercise involves 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and roughly 25,000 personnel from 22 nations, including: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This year, Canada is contributing 1,000 sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen. The Canadian Army is deploying a Company Group based on a Rifle Company from the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Read the full story

Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, along with other North and South American air force commanders signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week for mutual cooperation and aid in the event of disasters. PHOTO: Submitted

(June 27, 2014) - Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), along with other North and South American air force commanders signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week for mutual cooperation and aid in the event of disasters.

The MOU, which will come into effect in 30 days, is a non-legally binding arrangement among the air forces that make up the System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces – known in Spanish as the Sistema de Cooperación entre las Fuerzas Aéreas Americanas (SICOFAA), a hemispheric body aimed at enhancing interoperability among air forces, promoting mutual support, and facilitating the exchange of experiences and expertise with respect to air security.

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“Canada is proud to be a member of SICOFAA. Through arrangements like this, we hope to further nurture and strengthen our existing partnerships in the Americas, working together to ensure our collective ability to respond to disasters,” said Defence Minister Rob Nicholson. Read the full story

(June 24, 2014) - OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, welcomed the Pentagon’s announcement today of the nomination of Admiral William E. Gortney, United States Navy, to the post of Commander of the North American Aerospace Command (NORAD), pending U.S. Senate confirmation.

“I am delighted with the nomination of Admiral Gortney to the post of the Commander of NORAD. Admiral Gortney will replace General Jacoby, Jr. who has provided exemplary service to Canada as NORAD Commander since 2011.

The United States is Canada’s closest friend and ally, and most important partner in defence. Through NORAD, we work together to defend and secure our nations.” Read the full story

Major John Lewis shakes hands with departing Canadian Armed Forces members on June 21, 2014, at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario. 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, deployed personnel to replace Royal Canadian Air Force members working as part of NATO Reassurance Measures in Eastern Europe. PHOTO: Corporal Owen W. Budge

(June 24, 2014) - On Saturday, June 21, 2014, 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, deployed personnel to replace Royal Canadian Air Force members working as part of NATO Reassurance Measures in Eastern Europe.

These personnel will provide integral support in areas of engineering, information services, logistics, human resources, and communications to the Air Task Force currently deployed at Câmpia Turzii, Romania.

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The Canadian Armed Forces have been a major contributor to NATO operations and exercises since its founding 65 years ago and is committed to transatlantic unity, security, and stability. Canada continues to provide modern, deployable capabilities to allied missions and highly trained personnel to its command structure. In recent years, Canada has been an active participant in NATO-led missions in Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Libya. Read the full story

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lois Sharpe, safety officer for the U.S. Army’s 15th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), swims under the powerful downwash of a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter during a sea survival exercise with 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron off the coast of 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, on May 14, 2014. PHOTO: Captain Trevor Reid

(June 20, 2014) - Nine members of the United States Army’s 15th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (B/15 MI Bn) based in Fort Hood, Texas, paid a visit to 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, from May 14 to 15, to meet and train with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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“We were happy to have members of the U.S. Army visit and train with us,” said Captain Nick Klus, a Cormorant pilot. “As a SAR squadron, it is important to help our partner organizations be better prepared to survive in the event of the worst case scenario situation.” Read the full story

The crew of HMCS Summerside look forward to their participation in the multi-national exercise TRADEWINDS 14.

(June 18, 2014) - Another Royal Canadian Navy unit has joined the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the multinational exercise TRADEWINDS 14. Starting today, HMCS Summerside joins members of Fleet Diving Unit (FDU) Atlantic who have been providing support to the training exercise since early June. HMCS Summerside was in the Caribbean region completing a successful patrol as part of Operation CARIBBE.

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The United States South Command-sponsored training exercise is a first for HMCS Summerside and FDU (Atlantic). The exercise focuses on improving cooperation and security in order to effectively conduct humanitarian crisis and disaster contingencies, combined land and maritime security operations, and operations to counter illicit trafficking in the region. Read the full story

Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Pletz, the commander of the Canadian air task force, greets the Romanian Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant-General Ştefan Dânilâ, on his arrival at an open house event on May 31, 2014, in Câmpia Turzii, Romania. PHOTO: Leading Seaman Alex Roy

(June 17, 2014) - When NATO called on its members in April to provide military assets to demonstrate the solidarity of the alliance in response to Russian aggression towards Ukraine, Canada was one of the first to step up to the plate.

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The Canadian Armed Forces’ support to NATO is a tri-service effort from the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). To support allied solidarity, Canada has committed staff officers to Belgium, an air task force to Romania, a ship to the Mediterranean Sea and a platoon-sized army element to Poland.

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In whatever capacity – in the air, on land and at sea – the Canadian Armed Forces have been ready to support NATO and other international missions for over 65 years. Read the full story

(June 12, 2014) - United States Ship (USS) Nimitz, an aircraft carrier and one of the largest warships in the world, will visit Esquimalt, B.C., June 13-16. The ship is stopping for this short visit before continuing on to Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental & Test Ranges (CFMETR) at Nanoose Bay to conduct trials and testing.

The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner. Defence and security relations between the two countries are longstanding, well-entrenched, and highly successful. The closeness of the Canada-U.S. defence partnership provides both countries with greater security than could be achieved individually.Read the full story

Comox, British Columbia. 1 June 2014 – Members of 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron unload a CP-140 Aurora aircraft after returning to 19 Wing Comox, B.C. from their successful participation in Operation Driftnet 2014. The Aurora crew, along with a Department of Fisheries and Oceans officer, flew several missions in support of the two-week long operation to search for and deter illegal fishing in the North Pacific Ocean. Operation Driftnet members spent nearly two weeks flying patrols over a vast area of the western North Pacific Ocean, observing more than 100 vessels. Photo by Cpl Letourneau.

(June 12, 2014) - Each year during Operation DRIFTNET, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) conducts surveillance patrols across four million square kilometres of North Pacific Ocean to detect and assist in the apprehension of driftnet fishers. The patrols are supported under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and are closely coordinated with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) District 17 in Juneau, Alaska.

This year, the RCAF conducted 11 patrols based out of Hakodate, Japan in the last two weeks of May. The patrols resulted in the seizure of an illegal Chinese-registered vessel in possession of between 900 to 1,200 lbs of salmon and suspected of several domestic and international fishing violations.

CP-140 Aurora long-range maritime patrol surveillance aircraft are flown during the patrols. CP-140 aircraft are equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment including automatic identification sensors (AIS). They are supported by RADARSAT-2 technology.

A typical patrol starts early in the morning with tasking orders from an RCAF liaison Officer working with the USCG and a DFO logistics officer who analyze incoming information and determine the CP-140’s mission profile. Read the full story

(June 4, 2014) - Members of the Canadian Army are participating in commemoration activities taking place in Normandy, France, to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

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In tribute to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion’s participation in D-Day, 50 Canadian Army parachutists representing Canadian Army Divisions from across the country, including both Regular and Reserve Force members, are participating in a series of “Friendship” jumps on June 5 in Ranville, France. Canadian parachutists will conduct the jumps in tandem with parachutists from France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Read the full story

WARSAW, POLAND (June 4, 2014) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that members of the Canadian Armed Forces will deploy to Latvia to participate in Exercise SABER STRIKE 2014, a long-standing, multilateral, multifaceted, U.S. Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise.

A Canadian Armed Forces contingent of approximately 75 soldiers – from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton, Alberta – will join more than 2,000 personnel, including approximately 45 Canadian soldiers already deployed, from nine other countries participating in this annual exercise which is being held this year in Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Lithuania from June 9 to 21. The Canadian contingent will be attached to the United States Army’s 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment.

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The Exercise will allow Canada, the United States and other participating nations to demonstrate the unique roles they can take on when contributing to international operations to promote regional and global stability.Read the full story

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (June 4, 2014) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, participated in a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, which took place on June 3–4, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

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Discussions during the two-day meeting focused on the Alliance’s reassurance measures, aimed at promoting security and stability in Eastern and Central Europe in light of Russia's ongoing aggression and provocation against Ukraine. Discussion also covered longer term priorities for NATO, such as capability development and readiness, with a view to the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales this September.  The NATO Defence Ministerial meeting provides the necessary platform for Canada to engage with and confirm our support to our NATO Allies and Partners.Read the full story

(May 30, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Summerside recently joined Operation CARIBBE as part of her seven-week deployment in the Caribbean basin in support of Canada’s commitment to improve regional security and cooperation.

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Following her participation in Operation CARIBBE HMCS Summerside will take part in the United States Southern Command-sponsored training exercise TRADEWINDS 14 – a multinational exercise promoting regional security and cooperation in the Caribbean Basin. The exercise focuses on improving cooperation and security in order to effectively conduct humanitarian crisis and disaster contingencies, combined land and maritime security operations, and operations to counter illicit trafficking in the region.

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Exercise TRADEWINDS 14 will include participants from the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies, and their counterparts from 19 partner nations.Read the full story

OTTAWA (May 28, 2014) - Twenty-two Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, using a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC130J Hercules aircraft, will be conducting an aerial observation mission over Ukraine under the Treaty on Open Skies tomorrow.

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The CAF team will be conducting this observation flight jointly with the United States with participation from France and Estonia. Ukrainian Open Skies representatives will also be on the CC130J aircraft throughout the mission as observers. Read the full story

The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, and Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, lay a wreath during the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil’s Commemorative Ceremony held on May 22, 2014, at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC. Photo: Keegan Bursaw.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2014) - A Commemorative Ceremony marking the opening of the Afghan Memorial Vigil paid tribute to the more than 40 U.S. Armed Forces members and 161 Canadians who paid the ultimate price in the service of peace and security while under Canadian command.

Family members and colleagues of the Fallen, alongside U.S., Afghan and Canadian military and civilian dignitaries shared a moment of silence acknowledging the bravery, valour and professionalism of all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and those who have served and supported the mission in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant-General Beare, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, commended the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of both Americans and Canadians during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, stating that “we are proud of our partnership with U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, and grateful to the soldiers, sailors, and air force personnel and marines alongside whom we served, shared in sacrifice, and delivered results together. The vigil is a poignant reminder of our shared sacrifices. We are grateful to be able to share it with the citizens of the United States of America.”

As the sun sets, Corporal Michael Meagher pipes down the Canadian Flag that is flying over a Forward Operating Base somewhere in Afghanistan in November, 2005. Cpl Meagher is a rifleman belonging to Golf Company from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR), a mechanized infantry battalion from Gagetown, NB. Photo: Master Corporal Ken Fenner

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May, 2014) - Marking more than 12 years of service in Afghanistan, the Embassy of Canada is honoured to host Canada’s Afghanistan Memorial Vigil over the 2014 Memorial Day weekend.

The Afghanistan Memorial consists of the original commemorative plaques from the Canadian monument at Kandahar Airfield. The series of plaques is dedicated to the 161 Canadians and more than 40 U.S. Armed Forces members who paid the ultimate price in the service of peace and security while under Canadian command.

Public viewing of the Memorial in the Embassy’s courtyard is available from Friday, May 23, to Monday, May 26, 2014. Attendants will be on site from 9:00AM to 5:00PM daily to answer questions.

Afghanistan Memorial Vigil: Information

Afghanistan Memorial Vigil Brochure

Members of the Canadian and Peruvian air forces evacuate a simulated casualty at Pisco air base in Peru during Exercise Cooperación III: (from left) Sergeant Stephen Bates and Master Corporal Dennis Van Sickle – both Canadian search and rescue technicians – and Major Alpaca and Lieutenant Romero. Photo: Captain Trevor Reid

(May 13, 2014) - Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel and aircraft recently returned home from Exercise Cooperación III, a multinational disaster relief exercise that took place in Peru from April 19 to May 2, 2014. [...]

Approximately 750 personnel took part Exercise Cooperación III, coming from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Guatamala, Mexico, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Uruguay and Peru. Read the full story

OTTAWA (May, 2014) - More than 1 000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen will participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s premier combined and joint maritime exercise, from June 26 to August 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

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“As a Pacific nation, Canada is committed to working with our partners in the region to be ready to respond to events across the spectrum of safety, security and defence missions. This exercise provides us with an excellent opportunity to build on our readiness, and to ensure that we have the right mix of people, equipment, and resources, and the requisite training in place to meet the tasks assigned by the Government of Canada." - General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff Read the full story

A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft takes off during Exercise Maple Flag 2013 at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. Photo: Master Corporal Marc-André Gaudreault

OTTAWA (May 9, 2014) - Exercise Maple Flag 47 will bring together 650 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft, as well as personnel from allied partner countries, to engage in air and ground combat training. [...]

“In today’s security environment, high readiness is fundamental to peace and stability, which makes training of this kind essential,” said Major-General Pierre St-Amand, the commander of 1 Canadian Division and the Canadian NORAD Region, which are both headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Read the full story

Twin Otter pilot, Captain Andrew Oakes brushes off the wings of the airplane as it is refuelled before the day’s flight on April 10, 2014, in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, during Operation Nunalivut. Photo: Master Corporal Chelsey Hutson

NUNAVUT May 5, 2014) - Operation Nunalivut 2014 ended on May 3, 2014, after bringing together a diverse group of military personnel from Canada and the United States for training in the Resolute Bay area of Nunavut. This year’s training started on April 2, and was the biggest and most complex iteration so far in this series of High Arctic operations.

The CC-177 Globemaster III and CC-130J Hercules were used to move troops from their home base to the area of operations, this strategic airlift, combined with the flexibility of the ski-equipped Twin Otters from 440 Transport Squadron, were key enablers for Operation Nunavut. The American LC-130 added its heavy-lift capacity to the operation, and its abilities dovetailed seamlessly with 440 Transport Squadron’s Twin Otter Airlift. Read the full story

OTTAWA (May 4, 2014) - Approximately 50 soldiers from the 3rd Canadian Division based in Edmonton, Alberta, comprised of a platoon from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and support staff departed on May 2 for Poland. Their participation in this United States-led multinational exercise will include training in parachuting, airborne operations and infantry skills. Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 25, 2014) - The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner. Defence and security relations between our two countries are longstanding, well-entrenched and highly successful. The closeness of the Canada-U.S. defence partnership provides both countries with greater security than could be achieved individually.

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As outlined in the Canada First Defence Strategy; as a strong and reliable defence partner, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are prepared to conduct continental operations, including through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD); carry out training and exercises; remain interoperable with the U.S. military; and respond to crises at home and abroad.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 24, 2014) - Today, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, participated in the Second Trilateral Meeting of North American Defence Ministers in Mexico City, Mexico. The meeting was hosted by Mexico’s Secretary of National Defence, General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, and the Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, and attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

During the meeting, the Defence Ministers discussed challenges to North American security, including North American southern border security, cyber defence, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Minister Nicholson also conducted separate bilateral meetings with Secretary Hagel, and with General Cienfuegos and Admiral Soberón.Read the full story

(April 24, 2014) - Our three countries are closely connected through common geography, strong links between our peoples, and comprehensive trade relations. As such, we share many mutual defense interests. Threats to North America and the hemisphere are increasingly complex and require coordinated responses. Building upon the trilateral collaboration under the North American Leaders Summit process, we remain committed to enhancing our common understanding of those threats and developing effective and efficient approaches needed to address them.

Since the inaugural Trilateral Meeting of North American Defense Ministers in 2012, we have made significant progress in establishing and deepening our trilateral defense relationship. We have also increased our understanding of how we can collaborate in several areas of mutual concern. With this foundation, our countries continue to work together to address the security and defense challenges that our continent faces. We acknowledge that transnational threats require transnational responses and are committed to furthering our collaboration. [...]Read the full story

Sherard Osborn Island, Nunavut. 15 April 2014 - An LC-130 Hercules aircraft from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing flies over Ice Camp One, Sherard Osborn Island, Nunavut during Operation NUNALIVUT on April 15, 2014. (Photo: Captain Graham MacMillian, Joint Task Force (North), Yellowknife, NWT)

NUNAVUT (April 23, 2014) - Canadian Armed Forces operations don’t stop when the roads do. Rather, the rougher the terrain, the more intricate the transport plans become. In the High Arctic especially, airlift is integral to mission success. [...]

Strategic and tactical airlift combine to play a key role in keeping soldiers mobile and responsive when operating in harsh, Arctic environments. This year, for the first time in Operation NUNALIVUT’s history, the109th Airlift Wing from New York State was invited to participate. They fly ski-equipped LC-130’s (a.k.a. Ski-herc’s) and operate out of Scotia, New York and Thule Air Base in Greenland.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 17, 2014) - The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are marking more than 12 years of service in Afghanistan.

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One of the ways the DND/CAF are commemorating the service of Canadian personnel is through an Afghanistan Memorial Vigil. The Memorial Vigil contains 190 plaques representing 201 fallen: 158 CAF members, one Canadian diplomat, one Canadian civilian contractor, one Canadian journalist and 40 United States Armed Forces members who were under Canadian command.

The plaques were formerly part of the Kandahar Air Field cenotaph. The cenotaph was a memorial structure for Canadian soldiers to commemorate their fallen comrades while deployed in Afghanistan. [...] The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil will travel across Canada and the United States between 3 May and 26 October 2014Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 17, 2014) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement announcing additional measures that Canada is taking to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe:

“Canada continues to strongly condemn Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukraine and its ongoing aggressive military provocation.

“Along with our NATO allies, we recognize the need to enhance security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

“To this end, Canada is offering the following capabilities to enhance the readiness of NATO allies: six Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter aircrafts and up to 20 staff officers to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe to assist NATO planning efforts. Canada’s offer has been well received by NATO.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 16, 2014) - The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Tom Lawson, hosted his United States counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for high-level discussions this week on a range of topics, including readiness, maintaining interoperability and bilateral military cooperation.

The United States is Canada’s most important ally and defence partner. Our unique cooperative relationship is unmatched and provides both countries with greater security than could be achieved individually.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 12, 2014) - Canada’s active commitment to our security and sovereignty in the North was demonstrated with a coordinated two-week operation conducted by the Royal Canadian Air Force in partnership with NAV CANADA, the Canadian Air Defence Sector of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Alaskan NORAD Region.

This operation was carried out to ensure NORAD and its geographical component, the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) maintains optimal readiness levels at Forward Operating Locations across the North.Read the full story

HMCS Kingston and Glace Bay docked at Port Canaveral, Florida, for a short port visit before heading back home in Halifax.

OTTAWA (April 10, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Ships Kingston and Glace Bay recently completed a successful six-week deployment on Operation CARIBBE. The Kingston-class vessels will return home after a short port visit at Port Canaveral, Florida.

Over the last six weeks, the Royal Canadian Navy had four Kingston-class vessels deployed on Operation CARIBBE at the same time - two in the Caribbean Basin and two in the Eastern Pacific Ocean - marking Canada’s single largest naval contribution to this operation.

Sailing from the Pacific Fleet, HMC Ships Nanaimo and Whitehorse patrolled the Eastern Pacific Ocean from February 19 to March 28, 2014. From the Atlantic Fleet, HMCS Kingston and Glace Bay participated to the operation from March 10 to April 8, 2014.

Operation CARIBBE consists of locating and tracking suspicious vessels, and assisting embarked U.S. Law Enforcement Detachment teams in conducting boarding operations when deemed necessary.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 7, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Nanaimo and Whitehorse returned today from a 5-week successful deployment on Operation CARIBBE. They were part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) participation in the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean basin and the eastern Pacific Ocean.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 7, 2014) - Space is a part of the global commons, an area like international waters that is beyond national boundaries. Cooperation with national and international partners is necessary to track space activity and protect the shared space environment.

A recent agreement was signed between Canada and the United States to formalize a partnership to share data on orbiting space debris – the Space Situational Awareness Services and Information Memorandum of Understanding. It enhances cooperation between the Canadian Joint Operations Command Space Operations Cell and the Joint Space Operations Center in the United States.

The agreement streamlines the sharing of “space situational awareness” data between Canada and the United States. This data provides an understanding of how satellites or operations can adversely be affected in space. The agreement allows both nations to mutually contribute resources to track space activity to avoid potential collision between satellites or with orbiting debris.Read the full story

Two CC-130 Hercules aircraft refuel in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, on April 9, 2013 during Operation Nunalivit. PHOTO: Corporal Pierre Letourneau

DND (April 3, 2014) - The North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), will conduct Operation Spring Forward, a major training operation, at various locations in Canada’s North during the first two weeks of April.

The operation will see the deployment of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel as well as CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, CC-130T Hercules, CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refueling aircraft and other support aircraft to Inuvik and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

This operation is the culmination of a nearly six-month planning effort and is designed to exercise CANR’s ability to operate at forward operating locations across the North. The operation will consist of a series of training flights held in coordination with Nav Canada, the Canadian Air Defence Sector and the Alaskan NORAD Region.Read the full story

The naval boarding party of HMCS Regina prepares to board a dhow during routine Operation Artemis maritime security and counter-terrorism operations off the coast of Africa on March 31. (Image has been digitally altered due to operational security)

HALIFAX (April 3, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina successfully disrupted a narcotics shipment during a patrol in her designated area of operations in the Indian Ocean on March 31, as part of Operation Artemis. This marked the first drug seizure for Regina as part of her maritime security and counter-terrorism operations.

Regina intercepted and boarded a dhow off the east coast of Africa and discovered 132 packages of heroin weighing 132 kilograms in total. The illicit narcotics were subsequently seized, documented and later destroyed at sea, thereby ensuring that they would not reach their intended recipients.Read the full story

Canadian Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operator working through his 'Render Safe' Procedure (RSP) during Ex Ardent Defender 13.

Halifax (April 2, 2014) - Skilled members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) detect, disable and exploit explosives devices on international deployments and, if called upon by civilian authorities, at home, which keeps their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, as well as nearby civilians, safe.

This expertise was essential during deployment in Afghanistan and skilled specialists will be in demand for future conflicts as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) become more prevalent.

On a yearly basis, Exercise Ardent Defender trains CAF operators to be prepared for the emerging threats seen abroad and in our own country.

This year, Exercise Ardent Defender 2014 (Ex AD 14), now underway, is training Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators in Halifax. The Royal Canadian Navy will host the joint exercise with participants from the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and members of Canadian Law Enforcement and representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden.Read the full story

OTTAWA (April 2, 2014) - Operation NUNALIVUT 2014, one of Joint Task Force (North)’s premier High Arctic operations begins today in the area of Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

Joint Task Force (North) is conducting Operation NUNALIVUT 2014 from April 2 until May 3, with the majority of personnel deploying from April 16 to 24. This operation includes both combined and joint operations exercising interoperability and Arctic skill-sets.

Operation NUNALIVUT will be conducted in three distinct locations:

- The Task Force Headquarters will operate out of Resolute Bay, NU.

- A Company (minus) from 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, based at CFB Valcartier, will be conducting a patrol around Bathurst Island, approximately 500 km northwest of Resolute Bay; and

- A Combined Dive Team, consisting of divers from the Royal Canadian Navy and U.S. Navy, will conduct operations near Gascoyne Inlet, approximately 100 km east of Resolute Bay.

440 (Transport) Squadron, based in Yellowknife, and 109th Airlift Wing, from the New York State Air National Guard, will provide tactical airlift, resupply, surveillance, reconnaissance and mission support.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 24, 2014) - Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Glace Bay recovered 97 bales of cocaine during a patrol in the Caribbean Basin, as part of Operation CARIBBE, on March 15, 2014.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 18, 2014) - The final contingent of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) troops who were deployed to Afghanistan have returned to Canada today, after the end of major military operations for Canada in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan was Canada’s largest military deployment since the Second World War, as well as its longest deployment ever. Since Canada’s first involvement in Afghanistan in 2001 more than 40,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors, airmen, and airwomen have deployed to the country, with approximately 25 per cent of them having served more than one tour.

Since the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in 2011, Canada has contributed to the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A). Alongside its NATO allies, Canada assisted in the training, mentoring and development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), thereby increasing and sustaining the capacity of the ANSF to provide safety and security for their country.Read the full story

Corporal Jonathan Michel, 3R22eR, A Company, maintains a security perimeter with the C16 Automatic Grenade Launcher during Exercise COLD RESPONSE near Sjøvegan, Norway on March 13, 2014. Photo by: MCpl Dan Pop

OTTAWA (March 17, 2014) - Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weather combat exercise. Organized and led by the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, the exercise involves some 16,000 personnel on land, at sea and in the air from 16 countries.

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[...] The Norwegians themselves have committed their entire Brigade North – about 4,000 troops – plus a Home Guard battalion. Off the northern coast they have six fighting ships and a unit of coastal commandoes; in the air, fighters, transport, surveillance, and assorted helicopters. Their naval assets are augmented by frigates from France and Poland as well as substantial amphibious forces from the Netherlands and the US Marines. In the air, further surveillance, tactical, and transport assets have come from Germany, Sweden, and the United States. Land forces include a French battle group, Swedish light and mechanized infantry, a small Ranger battalion from Germany, and even Reserve troops from Denmark. Elements of Special Forces are also involved from nine different nations.Read the full story

Several Canadians received the United States Bronze Star medal and one received the Army Commendation Medal in Afghanistan last month (from left to right): Colonel Stéphane Boucher, Colonel Peter Scott, Colonel Bryan Gagne, Major-General Kevin R. Wendel of the United States Army, Colonel Ivars Miezitis, Colonel Ian Lightbody, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Paone (Army Commendation Medal) and Major-General James Hockenhull of the United Kingdom.

OTTAWA (March 12, 2014) - A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force was recently awarded the United States Bronze Star Medal while working with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Colonel Ian Lightbody was one of five members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) awarded the medal on January 18, 2014. The recipients were recognized for their work with the Afghan Ministry of Defence – Ministerial Advisory Group. The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth highest medal in the U.S. Army.

Colonel Lightbody is currently deployed with the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan (CCTM-A), where he is an advisor to an Afghan general responsible for long-range planning.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 11, 2014) - A flag lowering ceremony marking the end of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan was held earlier today at ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. After more than 12 years, the largest deployment of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel since the Second World War has drawn to a close.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 11, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMC Ships) Kingston and Glace Bay have joined HMC Ships Nanaimo and Whitehorse and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft detachment on Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Americas and Caribbean.

The concurrent deployment of four ships and an aircraft detachment marks a first in Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) history in support to Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s support to Operation MARTILLO – the multinational, joint, combined, and interagency effort among Western Hemisphere and European nations.

Operation CARIBBE demonstrates Canada’s commitment to address security challenges in the region by denying transnational criminal organizations air and maritime access to the coastal regions of Central America.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 7, 2014) - During the Cold War, North America relied on radar networks to provide an early warning of airborne attacks inbound over the North Pole. From the early 1950s, a series of isolated radar stations were constructed in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland to identify unfriendly aircraft and direct fighter planes to intercept them.

The most northerly of the networks, the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line of radar sites, was established in the late 1950s and extended along the Arctic coastline (roughly along the 69th parallel) from northwestern Alaska to Iceland. The DEW Line was planned, built and largely funded by the United States according to an international agreement. Out of the 63 sites that comprised the DEW Line, 42 were located within Canadian territory.

In the early 1960s, 21 of these sites were decommissioned and became the responsibility of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The remaining 21 sites were operated by the Department of National Defence (DND) until they were replaced by the North Warning System in 1993.Read the full story

OTTAWA (March 5, 2014) - United States Ship (USS) Michael Murphy arrived alongside Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on March 4th, 2014 carrying family members and civilian contractors who were on board Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur when a fire broke out in Protecteur’s engine room.

The guests were transferred to USS Michael Murphy for their own comfort after the fire, and were taken back to Pearl Harbor ahead of Protecteur and its crew.Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 27, 2014) - The RCAF is pleased to release the 2014 event schedules for both of its air demonstration teams: the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the CF-18 National Demonstration Team.

Both teams will thrill audiences all over Canada and in the United States this summer. Internationally, the Snowbirds will wow crowds at four air shows in the U.S. Meanwhile, the CF-18 Demo Team will make five international appearances, two in California -- one at the start of the season and one at the end -- plus two in Switzerland and one in Belgium.

“The RCAF is committed to collaborating and cooperating with our international allies and partners,” says Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Commander of the RCAF. Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 27, 2014) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, participated in a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, which took place on February 26-27, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Read the full story

HALIFAX (February 27, 2014) - The crew of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Toronto arrived home in Halifax on Thursday, February 27, reuniting with family and friends after more than seven months deployed in the Arabian Sea. Read the full story

HALIFAX (February 26, 2014) - Approximately 900 personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force are participating in a major fleet exercise this week until March 14, 2014, off the Eastern seaboard. This exercise will also see the contribution of United States Coast Guard vessel, USCG Campbell, and the Federal German Ship (FGS) Bonn, a Berlin-class replenishment ship. Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 25, 2014) - Canadian Armed Forces personnel completed a computer-assisted exercise in Petawawa today which will help prepare them for potential future missions in the event of an order from the Government of Canada.

Exercise UNIFIED RESOLVE (UR 14) began on February 11th included members from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) as well as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Ex UR 14’s objective was to test the overall planning, command and control capabilities of two task forces in anticipation of the largest Canadian Army readiness exercise of the year, Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2014, which is scheduled for later this spring in Wainwright, Alberta.

During the two-week exercise, participants reacted to computer-generated scenarios which simulated an army brigade response to a realistic and complex situation. It allowed soldiers to practise full spectrum operations, including deliberate attacks, mobile defence and assistance to non-governmental organizations. Read the full story

HMCS Glace Bay transits south from Halifax to participate in Op CARIBBE.

(February 20, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Kingston and Glace Bay departed Halifax earlier this week for the Caribbean Sea to support Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational criminal organizations in the Americas and Caribbean.

[...]

For the RCN, this is the second deployment of Kingston-class vessels on Operation CARIBBE this year. HMCS Nanaimo and Whitehorse, from the Pacific Fleet, departed for the Eastern Pacific Ocean on February 10th, 2014. Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 19, 2014) - Approximately 2 350 Canadian soldiers from across the country are taking part in several Arctic training exercises over the next two months. These exercises aim to maintain and refine both the Canadian Army’s operational capabilities and soldiers’ ability to operate in the Arctic’s austere conditions.

During these exercises, soldiers will have the opportunity to refine skills that enable them to operate in some of the most isolated and challenging areas of Canada. They will execute a wide range of tactics, techniques and procedures including: Arctic survival; search and rescue; live fire; Arctic patrols; and quick response to a simulated threat or hazard in Canada’s North.

The training is focused on the integrating Canadian Army soldiers (Regular and Reserve Force) with the Canadian Rangers, who are the eyes and ears of the military in sparsely settled and isolated northern regions. The Canadian Army has also invited soldiers from the United States Army National Guard and the Polish Armed Forces to take part in the training, strengthening interoperability between Canada and these nations.Read the full story

HALIFAX (February 18, 2014) - The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the United State Navy (USN) recently completed a collaborative exercise where each nation’s sailors and air force personnel honed their anti-submarine warfare skills during Exercise Atlantic Shield off the eastern seaboard.

Held from January 26 to 29, 2014, Atlantic Shield was a complex exercise that brought together headquarters’ staff, submarines, warships and aircraft from both the RCN and US Fleet Forces to search for and track an unidentified submarine threat.

By working together, sharing information and combining their strengths, the participating units were able to successfully find and identify the highly capable USS Dallas playing the part of an unknown fast attack submarine in continental waters.Read the full story

HMCS NANAIMO, a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel. Photo: Sgt Norm McLean, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.

OTTAWA (February 9, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMC Ships) Nanaimo and Whitehorse, will depart Esquimalt, B.C., tomorrow for the Eastern Pacific Ocean to support Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational criminal organizations in the Americas and Caribbean.

Nanaimo and Whitehorse are Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs), designed for surveillance and patrolling. Their departure marks the beginning of several naval deployments scheduled for 2014 in support of Canada’s commitment to Operation MARTILLO – a multinational, joint, combined, and interagency effort among Western Hemisphere and European nations. The operation is designed to deny transnational criminal organizations air and maritime access to the coastal regions of Central America.

Operation CARIBBE continues to help strengthen international partnerships and also demonstrates Canada’s commitment to support efforts to address security challenges in the region, including illicit trafficking. Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 6, 2014) - Command of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) officially changed hands at a ceremony held today in Ottawa. The new Commander of CANSOFCOM, Brigadier-General Michael Rouleau, assumed command from Major-General Denis Thompson at a ceremony presided over by General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). Read the full story

OTTAWA (February 3, 2014) - The past year, the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Toronto has successfully completed her deployment on Operation ARTEMIS, and she will soon depart the waters of the Arabian Sea to begin her return voyage home. HMCS Regina is en route to the region to relieve HMCS Toronto and resume the Canadian duties on Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) in mid-February.

Operation ARTEMIS is Canada’s participation in CTF-150, the multinational task force operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) that promotes maritime security aimed at countering terrorism and related activities in the Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The continued presence of military assets in the Arabian Sea region also gives Canada and the 29 other contributing nations the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region. Read the full story

OTTAWA (January 30, 2014) - The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) space situational awareness satellite Sapphire has completed its operational testing and has been officially declared a contributing sensor to the U.S. Space Surveillance Network.

Data from this satellite will be incorporated into an international catalogue that is used to help prevent collisions in space. Sapphire will help safeguard over a trillion dollars of critical space assets such as telecommunications, weather, search and rescue, and earth observation satellites, as well as the Global Positioning System.

With the declaration of full operational capability, Sapphire will enter its five-year operational phase. Notably, the program has delivered all required capabilities for approximately $10.1 million less than its original budget of $96.4 million. Read the full story

OTTAWA (January 20, 2014) - This week, 143 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel will return to their home bases in Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta after the latest deployment to Afghanistan. These soldiers are some of the last Canadians to serve in Operation ATTENTION.

Since the end of combat operations in Afghanistan three years ago, Canada has been assisting in the development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). As a contribution to the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A), Canada is helping to generate and sustain the ANSF to enable Afghan-led security.

By the end of January, approximately 100 CAF personnel will continue to support Operation ATTENTION. All personnel will return home by the end of March 2014, marking the official end of Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan. Read the full story

Members of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship TORONTO's naval boarding party board a suspected drug smuggling vessel while a CH-124 Sea King helicopter provides additional security in the Arabian Sea region on January 17, 2014 during Operation ARTEMIS.

(January 20, 2014) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto successfully disrupted another narcotics shipment during a patrol in the Indian Ocean as part of Operation Artemis on January 17, 2014.

HMCS Toronto intercepted and boarded a vessel within 40 nautical miles of the coast of Tanzania and discovered 265 bags of heroin weighing more than 280 kilograms. The illicit narcotics were documented and later disposed of, ensuring they would not reach their intended recipients.

“I commend the crew of HMCS Toronto, whose tireless work with our allies in the Combined Maritime Forces is intercepting illegal narcotics shipments that would otherwise fund terrorist organizations,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. This drug seizure marks HMCS Toronto’s ninth narcotics shipment disruption as part of ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. To date Toronto has recovered approximately 8.5 metric tonnes of narcotics. Read the full story

OTTAWA (January 14, 2014) - The Department of National Defence announced today the signing of a long-term partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense for the continued sharing of space-related services and information. This arrangement will help maintain a safer operating environment for satellites, by sharing information on natural (space weather) and man-made hazards (orbital debris, de-orbiting satellites or spacecraft collisions) in orbit.

The Canadian Armed Forces rely on space for a wide-range of functions such as command and control, weather information, navigation, communications, mapping, and search and rescue. Space Situational Awareness provides the knowledge to ensure the availability of space-enabled capabilities that have become essential to the conduct of CAF operations.

The sharing of information between like-minded nations, such as Canada and the U.S., has been a key enabler to increasing our understanding of, and access to, advanced orbital information. National Defence has used this relationship to provide support to the Government of Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, and Canadian commercial satellite owner/operators. Read the full story

General Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, speaks to airmen and airwomen during a town hall meeting at 22 Wing North Bay, Ontario, in December 2013. Photo: Cpl Joseph Morin

(January 8, 2014) - 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay was recognized for its unique place in the Royal Canadian Air Force when United States Army General Charles Jacoby Jr., who is the commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, visited the northern Ontario base last month.

“What makes 22 Wing unique is its power in having both the training and operation squadrons co-located,” General Jacoby told to the air defence community on December 9, 2013.

22 Wing, also known as the Canadian Air Defence Sector (CADS), is home to 21 Aerospace Control & Warning Squadron, which is responsible for the surveillance, identification, warning and control of Canadian aerospace, and 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron, which provides training to military and civilian personnel in support of 22 Wing's mission to defend Canadians and protect national sovereignty.

During the town hall meeting, which was held at the Sergeant David L. Pitcher Building, home of the Canadian Air Defence Sector, General Jacoby expressed his pride in being a part of NORAD, a bi-national command.

“We share more than a border; we share sovereign interests,” he said. “Canada and United States are the only two countries in the world that do that.” Read the full story

OTTAWA (January 7, 2014) - Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina left Esquimalt today to join Operation ARTEMIS, Canada's contribution to the multinational effort in support of maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea region.

HMCS Regina will replace HMCS Toronto, which had been in the region from February to December 2013. During her deployment, HMCS Toronto intercepted and destroyed seven narcotics shipments totalling approximately 7.8 metric tonnes. Read the full story

OTTAWA (December 22, 2013) - Today marks the beginning of the last 100 days of the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan. After more than 12 years, the largest deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel since the Second World War will draw to a close on March 31, 2014.

“Canadians should be proud of their tremendous contributions in Afghanistan,” said the Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “In support of the Afghan government, our whole-of-government partners, and our international allies, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are making a difference in the lives of the Afghan people while contributing to international peace and security.”

...

Canada has proudly played a part in the international effort to build a more secure, stable, well-governed and prosperous Afghanistan. Building on and reinforcing the gains made over the past 12 years, Canada will continue to play an important role in supporting efforts toward a better future for all Afghans. To this end, Canada has committed $330 million to help sustain the Afghan National Security Forces and $227 million in development assistance between 2015 and 2017. Read the full story

OTTAWA (December 20, 2013) - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto successfully disrupted a narcotics shipment during a patrol in the Arabian Sea region, as part of Operation ARTEMIS, on December 18.

During a recent boarding off the east coast of Africa, HMCS Toronto discovered 506 bags of heroin weighing more than 538 kilograms. The illicit narcotics were then catalogued and later disposed of, thus ensuring they would not reach their intended recipients.

This seizure marks the largest heroin seizure in the history of Combined Maritime Forces operations.

“For the second time since departing on their current operation, HMCS Toronto has made CMF history with this latest narcotics disruption,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “Solidarity with our coalition partners to promote security, stability and prosperity, in this area, remains at the forefront of our priorities, as the recent monumental accomplishment made by HMCS Toronto can attest.” Read the full story

OTTAWA (December 17, 2013) - Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Ships Edmonton and Yellowknife, along with HMC Submarine Victoria, recently completed deployments in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, marking the end of a very successful year for Operation CARIBBE 2013.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) had tremendous operational success this year combating transnational organized crime off the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Central America, directly contributing to the seizure of 5 080 kilograms of cocaine and disruption of international drug trafficking over 11 months.

“This year’s success on Operation CARIBBE is a testament to Canada’s ability to work with our international partners and contribute to the safety and security of the citizens of this continent,” said the Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. Read the full story

OTTAWA (December 3, 2013) - Ceremonies were held today near Honiara, Solomon Islands to mark the successful completion of this year’s Operation RENDER SAFE, the biannual Australian-led operation to reduce the threat of unexploded Second World War ordnance in the South Pacific.

Ten members of the Canadian Armed Forces participated in Operation RENDER SAFE 2013 in the Solomon Islands alongside more than 200 personnel from the Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, the US Navy and the Solomon Island Constabulary. Canadian participation included four clearance divers from the Royal Canadian Navy, two Combat Engineers from the Canadian Army, two specialists from the Royal Canadian Air Force along with a Liaison Officer and a Staff Officer who served as the Task Force Commander. Read the full story

KINGSTON, Ont. (December 3, 2013) - Veterans of the famous Devil’s Brigade, serving and retired members of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), all gathered this evening at Canadian Forces Base Kingston for a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte (Mount) La Difensa.

The Devil's Brigade, also known as the First Special Service Force (FSSF), was a joint US/Canadian force formed during the Second World War in response to the need for a specially-trained unit capable of unique or “special” operations. Upon arrival in the Mediterranean Theatre, the FSSF was given the extremely difficult mission of taking the German-held, 963-metre mountain protecting the approaches to Rome, Italy. Read the full story

(December 3, 2013) - The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart, December 3 to 5, 2013, off the Canadian Atlantic coast, to practice intercept and identification procedures, as well as air-to-air refueling, as part of routine training.

“The Royal Canadian Air Force is proud to stand on guard for all Canadians as a partner in NORAD,” said Major-General Pierre St-Amand, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region, which is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Through carefully-planned and closely-controlled training, the Royal Canadian Air Force ensures our commitment to NORAD rapid response capabilities in the event of a domestic air threat.”

Royal Canadian Air Force participation in Amalgam Dart will include the following air assets:

* CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec

* A CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia

* A CC-130T Hercules from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba

Read the full story

(December 2, 2013) - The Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region is set to track and escort Santa Claus during his annual visit to Canada and has selected four CF-18 fighter pilots for the high profile job.

Lieutenant-Colonel Darcy Molstad and Captain Sébastien Gorelov of 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec, will conduct the first escort duties to welcome Santa into Canada when they join him off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Special NORAD SantaCams, positioned around the world, will take photos and video of Santa and his sleigh as he journeys around the world. The SantaCams instantly download the photo and video imagery so that it may be viewed by children around the world on the NORAD Tracks Santa website at: www.noradsanta.org on December 24.

Information will be available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Mandarin. Read the full story

HMCS Windsor, with HMCS Kingston in the background, will participate in the Task Group Exercise from November 25 to December 6, along with other RCN and RCAF assets.

(December 2, 2013) - Six Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships sailed from Halifax earlier this week to participate in a Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the Canadian Atlantic coast from November 25 to December 6.

"This Task Group exercise will have the added value of being a part of NORAD Exercise Amalgam Dart, proving interoperability between the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force," said Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic. "Such training strengthens ties and understanding amongst allies, improving our ability to successfully work together on operations." Read the full story

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