5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deploys to Ukraine

11 January 2016

Starting January 10 and throughout the rest of the month, the first group of approximately 200 Canadian Army (CA) soldiers from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG), based in Valcartier, Quebec, will be deploying to Ukraine for Operation (Op) UNIFIER. They will be relieving their counterparts from 2 CMBG, based in Petawawa, Ontario, who will be returning home throughout January, having completed military training activities in support of Canada’s response to requests for assistance from the Government of Ukraine.

“With the return of the troops based in Petawawa, I am pleased to see additional soldiers deploying from Valcartier to offer continued support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces under Operation UNIFIER," said Defence Minister Sajjan. "This important training mission demonstrates that Canada, together with our other allies, stands proudly in support of our Ukrainian friends.”

Op UNIFIER is Canada’s military training mission to Ukraine. All training activities with the Ukrainian Armed Forces are coordinated with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and focused on increasing the capacity of Ukraine in order to assist in maintaining its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

This is not a combat mission, but rather a capacity building mission taking place jointly with the US military and other partners. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel are located in western Ukraine, approximately 1300 km from areas where Russian-backed insurgents are active.

CA soldiers are delivering vital training that will help to support Ukrainian Armed Forces in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability in Ukraine. Roughly 200 Canadian trainers are teaching basic soldier skills, such as how to shoot, move and communicate on the battlefield, while also teaching how to treat wounded comrades and defeat threats such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Military Police members are working to build the capability of the Ukraine Military Police in their enforcement and investigation techniques. Flight safety training, English language training and logistics system modernization are also part of this mission.

This mission demonstrates the flexibility of the CAF and provides its’ members with an excellent opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to learn from the recent operational experiences of their Ukrainian counterparts.

In addition to providing military assistance in coordination with the U.S. and other countries, Canada’s support to Ukraine includes investments in economic development, reinforcing democratic institutions, and humanitarian aid.

2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deployed on Op UNIFIER in August 2015.