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August 5, 2022

Canadian Armed Forces set to train Ukrainian recruits in UK

Under Operation UNIFIER, over 225 CAF personnel will deploy for an initial period of nearly four months.

Canadian National Defence Minister Anita Anand has announced the government’s approval to deploy the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to the UK to train Ukrainian recruits. 

Under Operation UNIFIER, the CAF will send over 225 personnel to the UK to help Ukrainian personnel build their defence capabilities.

The majority of the CAF personnel will serve as trainers for an initial period of approximately four months and will be supported by a command-and-control element.

There will initially be over three training cohorts comprising 90 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Edmonton. The troops will leave for the UK on 12 August.

The first courses to be taken up by CAF personnel at a military base in South East England will focus on individual skills for frontline combat.

Under this initial phase, Ukrainians will be trained in weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, and the Law of Armed Conflict.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Government decided to extend the mission until March 2025.

Introduced in 2015, the CAF’s Operation UNIFIER seeks to help Ukraine protect its sovereignty in the face of Russian invasion. So far, the CAF has trained nearly 33,000 Ukrainian personnel in advanced military skills.

Canadian chief of the Defence Staff general Wayne Eyre said: “From recent engagements such as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, it is abundantly clear that training is a critical component to sustaining Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself in the short to long term.

“Building on the Canadian Armed Forces ’ already close relationship with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Canada is proud to work alongside like-minded nations such as the United Kingdom to further support their training needs.”

Since the onset of Russian invasion in February this year, Canada has committed military assistance worth $626m to Ukraine.

This includes M777 howitzer artillery guns with replacement barrels and ammunition, drone cameras, armoured combat support vehicles, and related training.

Echoing similar support to the Ukrainians, the Japanese Ministry of Defence and Self-Defence Forces have announced plans to deliver new civilian vehicles (vans) and a drone to Ukraine.

The decision follows a request by the Ukrainian government.

According to the ministry, the government will ‘continue to provide as much support as possible’ to Ukraine.

Japan has also delivered non-lethal supplies including helmets, protective masks, protective clothing, and drones to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.

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