Canada has deployed a new contingent of soldiers to Iraq to replace personnel currently serving overseas as part of efforts to support a US-led coalition in fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Approximately 120 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, drawn from the 8 Wing Canadian Forces Base Trenton, and 3 Wing Bagotville, have been deployed as part of Operation Impact, the country’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force.
Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney said: "Canadian Armed Forces personnel are battle hardened and respected worldwide as an agile and versatile force.
"As another group departs Canada to stand alongside our Allies against ISIS brutality, we can take pride they represent Canada’s most solemn commitment to this vital effort."
Commander colonel David Lowthia of 8 Wing Canadian Forces Base Trentonn said: "8 Wing Trenton takes pride in being the hub of Canada’s air mobility operations and the gateway for the Canadian Armed Forces’ deployed operations."
The deployment forms part of an ongoing relief in place policy, which enables the CAF to replenish its forces by deploying a new rotation of service members.
The policy began in mid-April and will continue rotating personnel until approximately mid-June.
Approximately 600 CAF soldiers have been deployed as part of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I). JTF-I also includes various staff and support elements, as well as an air task force, which has conducted 811 sorties as of 22 April.
The JTF-I works with the US and other coalition partners to degrade ISIS. It includes various staff and support elements, as well as an air task force, which has conducted 811 sorties as of 22 April.
In March, the Canadian Government formally extended its mission by up to one year, until 30 March 2016.
The expanded mandate also includes deployment of Canadian CF-188 Hornet fighters to join coalition partners in launching airstrikes against ISIS militants within Syria.