Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Canada in Iraq: CF-18's Bomb Multiple ISIS Target

DND released late last night that CF-18 fighters bombed multiple ISIS positions in the past few days.

On March 7 2015, CF-18's bombed multiple ISIS fighting positions south of Kirkut.

While on March 8 2015, CF-18's bombed two ISIS ammunition caches south of Haditha.

DND also released information on its other assets in the field. The CC-150 Polaris refueling aircraft - as of March 8, it has completed 98 sorties, and delivering more than 5.6 million pounds of fuel to coalition aircraft. The CP-140 Aurora has completed 109 reconnaissance missions as of March 8.

Two CF-18 aircraft escort a CC-150 Polaris after being refueled over Iraq, February 4, 2015.
Photo: CF Combat Camera

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Major Drug Bust for HMCS Goose Bay and HMCS Shawinigan

DND released today that HMCS Goose Bay and HMCS Shawinigan, had a major drug bust on March 1 2015 while patrolling the Caribbean Sea as part of Op CARIBEE 2015. They are supporting US Navy and US Coast Guard in the operation.

On March 1 2015, HMCS Goose Bay and HMCS Shawinigan helped USS Kauffman conduct an initial search of a suspected vessel. Goose Bay then conducted an additional inspection. With reason to believe there were narcotics on-board, a third search was completed by USCG Law Enforcement with the support of both Goose Bay  and Shawinigan. 

The result of the search was a seizire of 1017kg of cocaine. The crew of the vessel were taken into custody on-board the USS Kauffman. The entire operation lasted more than 36 hours.

This marks the first narcotics interception by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Op CARIBEE 2015.

HMCS Goose Bay off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia in June 2010. Photo: CF Combat Camera Cpl. Rick Ayer

Canada in Iraq: Possible Increase in CAF Deployment

Members of Op IMPACT carry the flag draped casket of Sgt. Doiron in Kuwait
on March 9 2015. Photo; CF Combat Camera

Canada's current mission in Iraq is set to expire April 7 2015, but no one expects Canada to withdraw from Operation IMPACT at that point. Defence Minister Kenney and Foreign Affairs Minister Nicholson both have said on the record that Canada is in the fights against ISIS for the long run. Even the Prime Minister has said Canada will not sit on the sidelines.

As the Conservative Cabinet gets to planning Canada's expected extension to the mission the consideration of deploying more Special Forces trainers to Norther Iraq is being considered. The Special Forces regiment in Petawawa has said they are ready for whatever the government asks of them, and are able to deploy quickly as the supply chain is already in place.

It was released yesterday that members of Canada's secret JTF2 group recently finished a tour in Northern Iraq before being replaced by the Special Forces Regiment out of Petawawa.

Col. (Ret) Day, former commander of JTF2, said yesterday that he wants to see an increase in the mandate of the mission, calling for Canada and other Western nations to allow their Special Forces to 'Manhunt' ISIS leaders, financiers, and supply coordinators.

Australia recently announced an increase of 300 soldiers headed to Iraq. So Canada might likely follow suit, or they could keep the status-quo.

Another option being considered is expanding the Air campaign into Syria, and the RCAF says they are ready for whatever the government asks them, but all decisions will be made by the government.