Operation Unifier sends military members to Ukraine

Operation Unifier sends military members to Ukraine

Operation Unifier sends military members to Ukraine.

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

Canada currently has over 200 Canadian Armed Forces soldiers stationed in Ukraine, most of them at the International Peacekeeping Security Centre (IPSC) in Starychi, near the city of Lviv, as part of the ongoing Operation Unifier.

Operation Unifier is Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with other countries.

Operation Unifier falls under the framework of the Multinational Joint Commission, which now includes the allies of Canada, Lithuania, the U.K., Ukraine, and the U.S.

“This is Canada’s response to requests from the government of Ukraine to provide military training and capacity building to Ukraine forces personnel,” explains Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Arsenault, Commander of the Joint Task Force Ukraine. “By participating in this mission, the CAF is helping to develop and modernize Ukraine’s military.”

Canadian troops were initially deployed to Ukraine for the first time late in the summer of 2015, where they started preparing and planning the training on their first two lines of effort, tactical soldier training or small team training and explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) training.

Since then, the operation’s first line of effort has successfully trained 246 Ukrainian service people to date.

On the second line of effort EOD training, approximately 20 Canadian military personnel, including a few navy divers, have trained 63 Ukrainian military members in counter-improvised explosive device (IED) skills.
LCol Arsenault says the Canadian military has also trained 120 Ukrainian troops in the realm of military police training – the operation’s third line of effort – which is comprised of use-of-force training and military police investigators training.

Flight safety training, the fourth line of effort, has only recently been activated and is intended to be running shortly.

Medical training, the fifth line of effort, has resulted in 300 Ukrainian military members being trained in combat first aid.

Newly trained Ukrainian troops have been given the same First Aid kits used on the ground by Canadian soldiers.

“We’ve found the medical training has been the most successful,” says LCol Arsenault. “It has been very much appreciated by our Ukrainian counterparts because it will have such a direct and immediate impact on their ability to save lives.”

The sixth line of effort, most recently activated, is Logistics Modernization. For this line of effort, Ukrainian military members will be trained to deal with issues such as running logistics convoys, maintenance, stores and logistic planning.

Lastly, says LCol Arsenault, the final line of effort trains Ukrainian troops in institutional capacity building, including public affairs, exercise planning, and resource management.

CAF members have also trained over 60 Ukrainian instructors. 

This is necessary, says LCol Arsenault, to leave the Ukrainians in a position where they can keep running the training without help from Canadian troops, who are mandated to leave in March 2017.

“Operation Unifier is important because Ukraine matters to us. Ukrainians have very similar values, meaning that Canada has always been close to Ukraine. That’s demonstrated in their long history with us,” he says.

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