RCAF to deploy Air Task Force to UN Mission in Mali

News Article / March 19, 2018

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National Defence / Global Affairs Canada

As part of Canada’s return to peace operations, an Air Task Force (ATF) will deploy to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for a period of 12 months.

The ATF will include two Royal Canadian Air Force CH-147F Chinook helicopters to provide urgently needed transport and logistics capacity for the MINUSMA mission, as well as four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to provide armed escort and protection, along with aircrew and groundcrew. The deployment will include a number of Canadian Armed Forces troops who will facilitate medical evacuations for troops on the ground and provide logistical support.

“As a responsible member of the international community, we recognize the importance of working collaboratively with our partners to promote peace and security. Supported by our diplomatic negotiations, I am confident we can help make a real difference in this region through the deployment of the Air Task Force,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan.

Canada’s contribution will join 57 MINUSMA partner countries in their continued efforts to bring sustainable peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel. Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s significant development, peace and security initiatives in the region.

Background

Canada is committed to building a more peaceful and prosperous world. Ensuring the safety and security of our citizens – and those of our allies – means working to confront instability and conflict around the world. Canada’s support for United Nations peacekeeping will help vulnerable and marginalized communities build a better future for themselves.

During the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference hosted by Canada in Vancouver in November 2017, the Government of Canada announced its return to peace operations and pledged to improve the effectiveness of UN peace operations in a number of ways, including:

  • The Vancouver Principles, focused on ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers around the world.
  • The Elsie Initiative, a pilot project aimed at rapidly increasing the number of women police and military deployed on UN peace operations, supported by the expertise and political commitment of a group of countries who share Canada’s ambition for change.
  • A range of Smart Pledges and high value military capabilities to be deployed in a five-year timeframe, with planned and predictable rotations with other member states, aimed at leveraging Canadian expertise. The pledges include a Quick Reaction Force and accompanying equipment, an Air Task Force of medium utility and armed helicopters, and tactical airlift support to address critical gaps in the UN’s ability to transport troops, equipment, and supplies to their missions.

The first smart pledge, a CC-130 Hercules aircraft to provide tactical airlift support for the UN’s Regional Support Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, was announced in Vancouver and preparations for deployment are currently underway.

The ATF deployment to Mali represents the second Smart Pledge. In the coming days, the Government will register its pledge with the UN, and the Canadian Armed Forces will begin their planning process, in conjunction with the UN, partners and the host nation.

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