CAF marks anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will mark the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait in a number of ceremonies between February 24 to 29, 2016, to recognize Canada’s contribution to the First Gulf War and the service provided by veterans of the conflict. Operation FRICTION was the CAF’s contribution to the 35-nation coalition to remove occupying Iraqi armed forces from Kuwait during the First Gulf War.

“As the Canadian Armed Forces marks the 25th anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait, we honour those who served in the First Gulf War and recognize their contribution to restoring Kuwait’s freedom," said Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force. "We owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who took part in the Gulf War, both our veterans and those who continue to serve today, for their outstanding service to Canada and the cause of freedom.”

A national commemorative event will be held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on February 27, 2016. Local/regional commemorative events will be held on various dates at the following Canadian Forces Base locations: Esquimalt, BC; Cold Lake, AB; Trenton, ON; Petawawa, ON; Bagotville, QC; Valcartier, QC and Halifax, NS.

These ceremonies are taking place in locations from which CAF personnel and units originally deployed to the Gulf region during the conflict.
The CAF participated in multinational coalition operations at sea, in the air and on land to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

A number of notable historic firsts occurred during Operation FRICTION: first time that women in the CAF were deployed to a war zone in combat roles; first deployed Joint Headquarters for the CAF; and the first relief-in-place crew swap for one of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships in theatre.

Approximately 4500 CAF personnel in total participated in Operation FRICTION, with a peak of 2700 personnel participating at one point in the Persian Gulf Region during hostilities.