Canada extends command of Nato training mission in Iraq

1 July 2019 (Last Updated July 1st, 2019 10:04)

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will command a Nato training mission in Iraq until November 2020 to help build sustainable defence and security institutions.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will command a Nato training mission in Iraq until November 2020 to help build sustainable defence and security institutions.

Canada was originally intended to end its leadership role this autumn.

First announced at the Brussels Summit in July last year, Nato Mission Iraq (NMI) is a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to assist Iraq in strengthening its military schools and institutions.

NMI seeks to improve the capabilities and effectiveness of Iraqi security institutions.

Canada’s Department of National Defence noted that the country’s leadership of the mission complements its existing efforts in the international fight against the Islamic State (IS).

The CAF is also extending support under Operation IMPACT to provide training and assistance to Iraqi security forces.

Canada National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said: “Our message is clear, Canada is ready to lead and stand with our Allies.

“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.”

The 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force East commander brigadier-general Jennie Carignan will take command of the mission from major general Dany Fortin this autumn.

Carignan will lead trainers, advisers and support staff from allied countries and non-Nato partners, including Australia, Sweden and Finland, as well as up to 250 CAF personnel.

Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said: “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.”

Under the NMI, Nato personnel provide training at Iraqi military schools and academies.

The training covers countering improvised explosive devices, civil-military planning, armoured vehicle maintenance and medical care.