Canada to command NATO mission in Iraq for a second year

Canada remains steadfast in its support to NATO. It has demonstrated a readiness to provide leadership where it is needed and are committed to strengthening the transatlantic bond. As a result,  it is now leading three NATO efforts globally, including NATO mission Iraq, where it’s working to support stability and security in the Middle East.

Members of Air Task Force - Iraq (ATF-I) from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron depart Camp Érable, Iraq, for their first mission onboard a CH-146 Griffon helicopter during Operation IMPACT on April 25, 2017. DND Photo
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan has announced that Canada will continue command of NATO mission Iraq for a second year until November 2020. DND Photo
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Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan announced that Canada will continue command of NATO mission Iraq for a second year until November 2020. MGen Dany Fortin, who took command in November 2018, will transfer command in the fall of 2019 to BGen Jennie Carignan, who will be promoted to the rank of Major-General. Carignan is currently the Commander of 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East based in Quebec.

As Commander of NATO mission Iraq, Fortin has been leading several hundred trainers, advisers, and support staff, from Allied countries and non-NATO partners, including Australia, Sweden, and Finland, as well as up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces members.

NATO mission Iraq is a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. It is founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It aims to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions and advancing security sector reform.

Canada’s leadership of NATO mission Iraq complements its existing efforts in the Global Coalition against Daesh, and its ongoing support to Iraq, as it moves forward from the successful fight against Daesh.

Under Operation Impact, the Canadian Armed Forces is also providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity.

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“Our message is clear – Canada is ready to lead and stand with our Allies. We are committed to supporting a more peaceful and prosperous world that benefits Canadians and global citizens alike. We know that combating threats to global stability reinforces security and prosperity at home and this is why we are happy to work with NATO and continue our command role of NATO Mission Iraq. I am also pleased that Brigadier-General Carignan, an accomplished leader, will assume command of the mission following her promotion to the rank of Major-General,” said Sajjan.

“Together with its NATO Allies and the Government of Iraq, Canada is committed to work towards lasting peace and security for the people of Iraq and the surrounding region. We are proud to assume command of NATO Mission Iraq for a second year and support the people of Iraq and new initiatives that will enhance security and regional stability,” said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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