Operations Update – November 2017

Attention: This page is updated on a monthly basis

Please note that this page is updated on a monthly basis. The information below was last updated on November 6, 2017.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations monthly update is designed to give a current overview of ongoing CAF missions in Canada, North America, and around the world. Every month, the narrative highlights recent developments on ongoing missions, provides information on upcoming exercises and operations, and recaps completed events and initiatives.

Search and Rescue | Across Canada

The three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres tasked CAF assets 68 times to conduct SAR operations during the month of October.


  • On October 1, the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CH-146 Griffon to conduct a medical evacuation of a patient who had suffered a stroke. The patient was then transferred to an ambulance in Goose Bay, Newfoundland.
  • On October 2, the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CH-149 Cormorant to proceed to a crash location of a civilian helicopter near Campbell River Airport, BC. One personnel on board the helicopter was declared deceased. The Cormorant transported one patient to BC Emergency Health Services. 
  • On October 18, the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CC-130 Hercules to search for a disabled boat in Lake Winnipeg. Communication was lost between RCMP and the vessel for some time before the Hercules located the vessel and dropped a life raft, evacuating the boaters.

In Canada, search and rescue is a shared responsibility between government, military, volunteer, academic, and industry groups. The CAF’s main responsibility is providing SAR from the air.  It also coordinates the national response for air, ground and maritime SAR. 

Operation ELEMENT | Quebec

Operation ELEMENT is the CAF contribution to a whole of government response to an influx of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the Unites States. The CAF were tasked with providing temporary accommodations and making them available to our federal and civilian partners for use.

In October, at the request of Public Safety Canada, the CAF will only maintain accommodations for approximately 200 people at the Interim Lodging Site in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

Operation HAMLET | Haiti

On October 15, 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces concluded its 13-year contribution to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The operation has come to a close as the United Nations replaces MINUSTAH with a smaller mission known as the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Operation HAMLET was the military component of a Canadian whole-of-government engagement with Haiti. Task Force Port-au-Prince comprised five staff officers serving in senior appointments at MINUSTAH’s military headquarters. The Task Force Commander served as Chief of Staff to the MINUSTAH Force Commander.

MINUSTAH’s focus was restoring a secure and stable environment, promoting the political process, supporting the electoral process, mentoring Police Forces and promoting human rights.

Operation CARIBBE | Caribbean

On October 16, 2017, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Nanaimo, a maritime coastal defence vessel, commenced patrolling in the eastern Pacific Ocean under Operation CARIBBE. HMCS Nanaimo will be joined by HMCS Moncton at the end of October to patrol the Caribbean Sea as well as a CP140 Aurora aircraft that will deploy later in the year to provide surveillance over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

In September 2017, HMCS Ottawa patrolled the eastern Pacific with an embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and used its on-board sensors to enhance maritime awareness at a shore-based command centre. In the spring of 2017, HMCS Saskatoon assisted the US Coast Guard in seizing approximately 1124 kg of cocaine and disrupting various other drug trafficking operations.

Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, a U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South-led interagency and multinational effort comprised of fourteen countries that aims to improve regional security and deter criminal activity.

Operation RENAISSANCE IRMA MARIA | Hurricane relief | Caribbean

From September 9 to October 15, 2017, the CAF supported Government of Canada disaster assistance and humanitarian relief to Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean under Operation RENAISSANCE IRMA MARIA.

In close support to Global Affairs Canada and multi-national partners to include United Kingdom, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Jamaica and Barbados, the CAF provided a myriad of capabilities. Over 300 military personnel were deployed to support the Canadian Disaster Assessment Team, fly and maintain military and surveillance aircraft, and operate a naval frigate that provided clean drinking water, essential supplies, helicopter airlift and relief work on the ground.

In total, the Maritime Task Force produced about 27 000 litres of water using HMCS St. John’s desalination system, and delivered about 157 000 lbs of cargo. The Air Task Force evacuated about 300 people and transported about 425 000 lbs of cargo.

Mission context

In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria followed a few weeks later. These large-scale storms caused widespread damage and a need for humanitarian aid and relief, including aid workers, fresh water and supplies.

Operation REASSURANCE | Central and Eastern Europe

Operation REASSURANCE is the CAF contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

Maritime Task Force:

From September 29 to October 13, 2017, HMCS Charlottetown participated in Exercise BRILLIANT MARINER. This NATO-led exercise took place in the Mediterranean Sea. As a crisis-response exercise, it was designed to enhance the way that NATO maritime forces would respond to an emergency. It included units from 11 different countries.

Air Task Force – Romania:

After a nearly flawless NATO certification at Mihail Kogalniceanu (M.K.) Air Base, Air Task Force – Romania (ATF-R) has conducted numerous training flights and scrambles over Romanian airspace and training areas, several commemorative flypasts, ground based training activities and static displays. As part of its commitment to bi-lateral NATO partnerships, the ATF also visited Slovenia from 20-21 September, in an effort to share best practices and become familiar with Slovenian Armed Forces operations.

Since the ATF’s arrival in late August, they have completed various infrastructure projects, including the construction of three temporary hangar facilities, several small shelters, extensive work and office spaces and from a simple patch of grass, a robust Canada House.

Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia:

On September 28, Minister of Defence Harjit S. Sajjan concluded several days of meetings with Allies and defence counterparts in Latvia. Minister Sajjan visited the Adazi military base, the host of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG) in Latvia, and met with the multinational soldiers who recently completed their certification exercise.

Approximately 400 multinational soldiers, including members of the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery, the eFP BG Latvia, and U.S. Army 10th Combat Aviation Brigade participated in the U.S.-led combined arms live fire Exercise BAYONET SHIELD. This was a force posturing deployment exercise conducted with NATO allies in support of Atlantic Resolve. It consisted of a series of troop-level live-fire training events and exercises with allied defense forces to increase unit proficiency and preparedness to respond to any threat or crisis.    

From October 16-28, 2017 NATO’s Canadian-led eFP BG Latvia participated in Exercise SILVER ARROW, a Latvian Land Forces Brigade collective training event. The large scale, force-on-force exercise, included around 3,500 soldiers from Albania, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States, including members of the Latvian National Guard. It was eFP BG Latvia’s first collective training event with their host nation Allies to increase interoperability and readiness.

Operation UNIFIER | Ukraine

On September 16, 2017, Lieutenant-Colonel Kristopher Reeves assumed command of Joint Task Force - Ukraine from Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Lubiniecki.

Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces mission to support Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine. The operation’s focus is to assist them with military training.

Operation IMPACT | Middle East

On October 30, 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces announced the extension of its military contribution and leadership of the Canadian-led Role 2 medical facility located in Erbil, Iraq until April 30, 2018 or until no longer required. The medical facility will continue to provide damage control, resuscitation and surgery, intensive care support, dental care, diagnostic imaging, and medical lab capabilities.

As of October 28, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has flown 3 311 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller flew 865 sorties. It delivered some 51 500 000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft;
  • CP-140 Aurora aircraft flew 866 reconnaissance missions; and
  • CC-130 Hercules aircraft flew 202 sorties. It delivered some 1 130 800 pounds of cargo.

*This total includes 1378 sorties conducted by CF-18 Hornets between October 30, 2014 and February 15, 2016.

Operation IMPACT is the CAF contribution to the Global Coalition to dismantle and ultimately defeat Daesh.

Top Tweets

  • We hear you and we know you’re hurting, #PuertoRico. It’s why we’re supporting #DoD’s relief efforts after #HurricaineMaria. [View tweet]
  • We are thankful for our @CanadianForces members who are deployed on operations around the world. Happy #Thanksgiving! [View tweet]
  • Door gunners with the #OpIMPACT Tactical Aviation Detachment keep watch from a Griffon helicopter [View tweet]

 Top Facebook Posts

  • A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster transported a US Army preventive medicine team…   [See more]
  • Group photo of Air Task Force Romania personnel… [See more]
  • As part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to aid in the fight against Daesh… [See more]
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