National Defence

National Defence

December 10, 2015 11:53 ET

Joint Task Force Ukraine is Ready for the Challenge

VALCARTIER, QC--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2015) - 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

Note to editors: There is a photo associated with this press release.

During a short ceremony, the Commander of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Colonel Michel-Henri St-Louis, confirmed the operational capability of troops taking part in the next rotation of Joint Task Force Ukraine (JTF-U). The troops will be leaving for Ukraine in January 2016.

After working hard for several months to prepare for the mission, the 200-odd highly trained soldiers of the recently created JTF-U gathered together at 3 Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, for a short parade. The group will take part in the next rotation of Operation UNIFIER under Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Arsenault. The operation is a support mission aimed at building the capacities of the Ukrainian forces.

The soldiers, who are mainly from the Quebec City area, will leave Canada at the beginning of 2016 for a mission that will last approximately six months. They will replace the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group members from Garrison Petawawa who have paved the way for this mission in Ukraine. They will continue in the same vein, providing training in a number of areas, including small- team (tactical) training, techniques for explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal, military police training and medical training.

Operation UNIFIER is Canada's contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with the U.S. and other countries providing similar training assistance. Military assistance is one component of Canada's support to Ukraine across development, security, democracy, and humanitarian aid.

Quotations

"I congratulate you for your exemplary preparation and your dedication. Your mandate is now set and I have no doubt that you have the team in place to accomplish the mission that Canada has given us. With your professionalism and the leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Arsenault and Chief Warrant Officer Parenteau, I am confident that you will make the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and the 2 Canadian Division proud. Allons-y."

Colonel Michel-Henri St-Louis, Commander of the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

"Commanding a task force is a privilege, and that is all the more true when one is lucky enough to rely on such a disciplined group with world-class expertise. I am proud to represent Canada abroad. I know that, during our mission, we will be able to contribute to sustaining Canada's commitment to Ukrainians and our allies, and that we will be ambassadors for Canadian values."

Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Arsenault, incoming commander of Joint Task Force Ukraine

Note to editors: The troops' departure for this mission will not be covered by the media. The commander of the next JTF-U rotation, Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Arsenault, will be available to give individual interviews in the days leading up to the departure at the beginning of January. Members of the media who would like to obtain an interview are asked to contact public affairs personnel.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ValCartier.JPG

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