Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 16, 2007 10:13 ET

Defence Minister Reaffirms Canada's Commitment to NATO Alliance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, today reaffirmed Canada's support to the NATO Response Force by announcing the contribution of one frigate and six CF-18 aircraft available on short notice to deploy on operations from July 2007 to January 2008.

"Canada is a nation that prides itself on not shying away from international responsibilities, and we are demonstrating leadership by committing resources to NATO, as exemplified by our role in Afghanistan," said Minister O'Connor. "This separate contribution to the NATO Response Force further reinforces our commitment to the Alliance and to NATO's pursuit of transforming for the future, enhancing important partnerships, and maintaining global stability."

The NATO Response Force is a technologically advanced group made up of land, air, sea and Special Forces, capable of responding effectively to threats and crises around the world. The NATO Response Force was previously deployed in 2005 to provide relief assistance following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the United States and earthquakes in Pakistan that same year.

Canada's commitment to the NATO Response Force is separate from NATO's mission in Afghanistan. Neither NATO, through the NATO Response Force, nor Canada is considering the deployment of CF-18's to Afghanistan at this time.

At NATO's November 2006 Riga Summit the NATO Response Force was declared fully operational with up to 25,000 troops, including soldiers, sailors, air and Special Forces personnel able to deploy anywhere after five days' notice.

For more information about the NATO Response Force visit: www.nato.int/issues/nrf/index.html

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