Author Topic: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)  (Read 227014 times)

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #475 on: March 26, 2019, 20:02:53 »
Earlier:

Quote
Canadian peacekeepers evacuated injured French counter-terror troops in Mali

Canadian peacekeepers were called upon to evacuate several wounded French soldiers in Mali earlier this month after their patrol was ambushed while hunting for militants along the border with Niger.

The previously unreported incident marks the first time the Canadians have been asked to help non-United Nations forces in Mali, where the French have been conducting counter-insurgency operations since 2014 [emphasis added, Op Barkhane].

Canada has eight helicopters and 250 military personnel in Mali, where they have been providing emergency medical evacuations and transporting troops and equipment across a large swath of the remote African country.

 The Canadians have conducted seven other medical evacuations since August, all of which involved injured UN troops and workers.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, the commander of Canada's task force in Mali said the UN and France have agreed to help each other in extreme circumstances and that his peacekeepers did their jobs by helping save lives.


"I wouldn't want people to presume or assume that we're supporting counter-terrorism efforts," said Col. Travis Morehen
[emphasis added, God forbid]. "But it's really at this point about saving allied lives."

News of the French evacuation comes as the federal government is contemplating a formal UN request to extend its peacekeeping mission in Mali, which is currently set to end at the end of July.

France has about 3,000 heavily armed soldiers in Mali and the surrounding region hunting militants linked to al-Qaida, the Islamic State and other extremist groups through what is known as Operation Barkhane...
https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/canadian-peacekeepers-evacuated-injured-french-counter-terror-troops-in-mali-1.4351905

Meanwhile look who's helping Barkhane directly:

Quote
Denmark proposes deployment to France’s Operation Barkhane in the Sahel

The Danish government announced on Thursday, February 28 that it plans to send troops and equipment to support France’s Operation Barkhane in the Sahel.

The government’s plans, which must be approved by parliament, include sending two transport helicopters and around 70 soldiers to the region for a one-year period starting at the end of 2019.

“It is crucial for Danish and European security that we contribute to the stability of the area. The terrorist groups in the Sahel region threaten our common security,” said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen in a statement.

“That is why we are stepping up with France to defeat them,” Samuelsen said, adding that it was he hoped the region could be stabilized to “prevent irregular migration towards Europe.”

The security situation in Mali and the entire Sahel region is worrying, and therefore Denmark should increase its involvement,” Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said, adding that “With a helicopter contribution to Operation Barkhane, we deliver a relevant and sought-after contribution.”

Frederiksen also focused on the government’s restrictive migration policy, saying that “it is important that we contribute to the fight against terrorism and prevent the flow of refugees.”

NATO member Denmark contributed to previous operations in Mali, deploying transport aircraft to the French-led Operation Serval in 2013, and personnel and equipment to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, Minusma.

The recent unrest in the Sahel began in Mali in 2012 with Tuareg separatist uprising against the state, which was exploited by Islamist extremists linked to al-Qaeda who took key cities in the desert north.

France began its Operation Serval military intervention in its former colony early the next year, driving the militants from the towns, but the jihadist groups morphed into more nimble formations operating in rural areas, sometimes winning over local populations by providing basic services and protection from bandits.

The insurgency has gradually spread to central and southern regions of Mali, and across the borders into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Large swathes of the country remain outside government control, despite a 2015 peace accord designed to isolate the Islamists.

The French mission evolved into the current Operation Barkhane, which has roughly 4,500 French personnel deployed with a mandate for counter-terrorism operations across the region. Three U.K. Royal Air Force Chinook heavy lift helicopters based in Gao have since August 2018 supported French troops in Mali, and 50 Estonian soldiers are deployed in Gao in a force-protection capacity [emphasis added].

Troops deployed to Barkhane work alongside the U.N. Minusma stabilization mission in Mali, which began in 2013 and has about 12,000 troops and 1,750 police deployed, as well as the G5 Sahel joint counter-terrorism force that aims to train and deploy up to 5,000 personnel.
https://thedefensepost.com/2019/02/28/denmark-sahel-deployment-operation-barkhane/

Just not Justin's cup of tea, unlike those bloodthirsty Danes and Estonians, eh?

Mark
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #476 on: March 28, 2019, 05:29:12 »
"Sure, we'll send a Herc, buuuut ..."
Quote
The United Nations is pushing back against restrictions Canada wants to put on the use of a military transport plane it promised to deploy in Africa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced in November 2017 that Canada would send a C-130 Hercules to Uganda as part of a larger package of pledges to the UN.

The idea at the time was for the plane to ferry troops, equipment and supplies from the UN's logistics hub in Entebbe to different peacekeeping missions around the region.

Multiple sources say the offer of the plane came as a surprise to the UN, and the plan has run into numerous snags as Canadian, Ugandan and UN officials wrangle over the details.

One UN official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, says Canada recently provided a list of conditions about where and when the plane can be used.

Those included a stipulation the plane only fly in daylight and only between Entebbe and five locations that, according to the UN official, either don't have any peacekeeping units or are easily accessible by road.

As a result, the UN told Canada the arrangement did not meet its needs.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan spokesman Todd Lane would not comment specifically on the concerns raised by the UN, but both sides say they continue to talk about the aircraft.

"We continue to be in discussions with the UN on how we can deliver on this pledge in a way that best fits the UN's current requirements," Lane said in an email.

News of the back-and-forth comes just ahead of a major peacekeeping summit in New York Friday, the first since Canada hosted a similar gathering in Vancouver, where Trudeau pledged the Hercules plane ...
More @ link
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #477 on: March 28, 2019, 11:19:49 »
I've never really heard a good reason for this deployment to being with. If it was counter-terrorism, I would get that, but this cream puff stunt Trudeau is pulling over there is a waste of avgas.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #478 on: March 28, 2019, 12:21:58 »
"Sure, we'll send a Herc, buuuut ..."More @ link

We should also add no weapons aboard the hercs and demand the ground crews at the airstrips we land have gender parity.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #479 on: March 28, 2019, 12:43:21 »
We should also add no weapons aboard the hercs and demand the ground crews at the airstrips we land have gender parity.

I thought they had the gender parity thing sorted before the Mission got going?
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #480 on: March 28, 2019, 13:11:59 »
I thought they had the gender parity thing sorted before the Mission got going?
We attempted but failed to reach gender "parity".... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be sanctimonious in dictating how other countries' airfields should be run.   ;)

(Although I think he was being sarcastic;  it's hard to tell sometimes since that's often just how he talks  ;D )
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #481 on: March 28, 2019, 13:18:01 »
We attempted but failed to reach gender "parity".... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be sanctimonious in dictating how other countries' airfields should be run.   ;)

(Although I think he was being sarcastic;  it's hard to tell sometimes since that's often just how he talks  ;D )

Right. Bloody well right. We are the champions of fems!!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 13:23:31 by Cloud Cover »
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #482 on: March 28, 2019, 14:04:46 »
We attempted but failed to reach gender "parity".... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be sanctimonious in dictating how other countries' airfields should be run.   ;)

(Although I think he was being sarcastic;  it's hard to tell sometimes since that's often just how he talks  ;D )

80% sarcasm
20% wouldn't be surprised if

 ;D
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 14:18:13 by Jarnhamar »
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #483 on: March 29, 2019, 15:20:11 »
This is getting truly embarrassing, esp. with major UN peacekeeping ministerial on now in NY and with Sajjan and Freeland there trying to look smug about Canada's great new efforts:

Quote
Canada asks UN for more time to decide whether to extend Mali peacekeeping mission
Social Sharing


Request comes as Canada co-chairs an international peacekeeping summit starting Friday at UN headquarters

Canada has asked the United Nations for an extension of two weeks to decide whether to keep its peacekeepers and helicopters on the ground in Mali beyond its July 31 departure date.

In a letter dated Feb. 26, the UN urges the Liberal government to continue providing critical evacuation and logistical support to the UN mission in Mali until Romanian replacements are on the ground on Oct. 15. The letter also asked for a formal response by March 22 —  last Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government replied with a request of its own. It asked for a two-week extension, according to two UN officials familiar with the dossier...

In the letter, obtained by CBC News, the UN asks Canada to maintain full capacity until mid-September which would include transporting troops and supplies, then scale back to provide strictly medical evacuations for the final month until the new aviation unit arrives from Romania.

Bucharest will deploy four IAR 330L Puma medium-utility helicopters to Gao, which can be armed for self-defence purposes.

Canadian planes are 'quite valuable for us'

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head MINUSMA, said it would be "a shame" if the Canadians left before the Romanians are in theatre.

Helicopters are critical to the success of any peacekeeping operation but especially the UN stabilization mission in Mali, said Annadif...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/mali-un-peacekeeping-canada-extension-1.5076074

Canada sure is back.  Meanwhile MINUSMA itself tweeted this story from UN on what SecGen Guterres says is needed, bit of a message to Canada I suspect:

1) The tweet:

Quote
Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps
https://twitter.com/UN_MINUSMA/status/1111685661818540032

2) Guterres:
Quote
Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps
...
The Secretary-General also highlighted some “critical” gaps in UN missions that must be bridged, such as the urgent need in the Mali mission (MINUSMA), for armored personnel carriers and in CAR (MINUSCA) for 24/7 evacuation helicopters that can operate from remote areas.

Elsewhere, armed utility helicopters are needed; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance units; quick reaction forces, and airborne medical evacuation teams.

He urged everyone to contribute, with the assurance that “they will be utilized effectively and efficiently”...
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/03/1035741

Mark
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #484 on: March 29, 2019, 16:48:42 »
Now Canada backs out:

Quote
Canada won't extend peacekeeping mission in Mali: Freeland

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Trudeau government will not extend Canada's peacekeeping mission in Mali despite a UN appeal for it to stay longer.

The eight Canadian helicopters and 250 military personnel in Mali are scheduled to cease operations on July 31.

However their Romanian replacements won't be ready to take over until mid-October and the UN last month formally asked Canada to stay on to prevent a gap in the provision of lifesaving medical evacuations for injured peacekeepers.

 Freeland wouldn't explain why Canada is refusing to extend the mission except to say that the government is honouring its commitment to Canadians, the UN and allies.

Critics have pointed to the Liberals' refusal to extend the mission as emblematic of the government's failure to make good on its larger promise to support the UN and peacekeeping.

Freeland's comments came at the end of a major peacekeeping summit in New York today, where Canada pledged $15 million to increase the number of women deployed on UN missions.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-won-t-extend-peacekeeping-mission-in-mali-freeland-1.4357992

That $15M will sure make up for pulling out of MINUSMA.

Mark
Ottawa




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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #485 on: March 29, 2019, 18:47:52 »
So when the CPC wins the Fall election, the leftover Liberals can complain about how the Conservatives lost Canada the seat on the UNSC... :not-again:

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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #486 on: March 30, 2019, 18:47:27 »
So when the CPC wins the Fall election, the leftover Liberals can complain about how the Conservatives lost Canada the seat on the UNSC... :not-again:
Assuming that if the Tories win, they'll continue to seek a Security Council seat ...
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #487 on: March 31, 2019, 13:17:11 »
Now Canada backs out:

That $15M will sure make up for pulling out of MINUSMA.

Mark
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Top tip:

It’s not quitting if you use words like ‘reposture’. #spindoctorlife :)

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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #488 on: March 31, 2019, 14:01:32 »
"Advancing to the rear", eh?

Mark
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #489 on: March 31, 2019, 17:34:11 »
In fairness, the government is at least doing exactly what they said they would do on this one. Difficult to fault that, particularly given how scathing the criticism has been from troops and vets for picking that particular place for a mission.

All said and done, fair to say that Mali has been a good development / proving ground for the particular capabilities we deployed there? It certainly seems like it.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #490 on: March 31, 2019, 17:45:17 »
In fairness, the government is at least doing exactly what they said they would do on this one. Difficult to fault that, particularly given how scathing the criticism has been from troops and vets for picking that particular place for a mission.

All said and done, fair to say that Mali has been a good development / proving ground for the particular capabilities we deployed there? It certainly seems like it.


Well I for one am glad it hasn't turned out to be like a Dieppe Raid learning experience.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #491 on: March 31, 2019, 20:48:54 »
All said and done, fair to say that Mali has been a good development / proving ground for the particular capabilities we deployed there? It certainly seems like it.

Likely true, but...is that a good enough reason to deploy a significant portion of a fleet?  The same statement could be said about the Aurora IMPACT sustained op;  it worked but...to what end and at what cost?

Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #492 on: March 31, 2019, 20:53:35 »
Likely true, but...is that a good enough reason to deploy a significant portion of a fleet?  The same statement could be said about the Aurora IMPACT sustained op;  it worked but...to what end and at what cost?

Exactly...

While taking nothing away from the contribution made by the RCAF and others during this mission, it's a good example of a fairly weak and 'air headed' national foreign policy, adrift with few militarily strategic anchors to rally round. The first world nation's equivalent of a drive by, with no shots fired....
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #493 on: April 01, 2019, 15:27:01 »
A bit of an overview of at least some of the threat in this part of the world, via NJ's DHS ...
Quote
Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb

Background

    Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) became al-Qa’ida’s North Africa affiliate in 2007. AQIM was formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a splinter group of the Armed Islamic Group, both of which fought against Algeria’s secular government.

    Abdelmalek Droukdel has led AQIM and its predecessor groups since 2004. He cited religious motives for his group becoming an al-Qa’ida affiliate; this strategic decision also unified loosely connected brigades, enhancing recruitment and fundraising.

    In 2015, AQIM reconciled with al-Mourabitoun, a terrorist group led by former AQIM member Mokhtar Belmokhtar. Since then, AQIM has conducted operations against civilians, including Westerners, in public places such as hotels and restaurants.

Threat to New Jersey: Low

AQIM’s threat to New Jersey is low, as the group lacks the capability to direct attacks against the United States and continues to focus operations on Western interests in the Sahel region, as well as Libya and Tunisia
...
More in attached one-pager.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #494 on: April 08, 2019, 21:34:01 »
All-party Commons committee:  agree with GTFO option - recommendations:
Quote
... Recommendation 1

That the Government of Canada adhere to the one-year withdrawal deadline of 31 July 2019 for Operation PRESENCE that was announced in March 2018.

Recommendation 2

That the Government of Canada examine the full range of actions that could be taken to expedite the transition of the air detachments in Gao, Mali from Canada to Romania. In identifying these actions, the focus should be on minimizing the operational impact of the transition in the theatre of operations.

Recommendation 3

That the Government of Canada, on a best efforts basis, support the transition in the deployment of Romanian forces as Canada’s successor in Mali.

Recommendation 4

That the Government of Canada provide logistics and heavy lift air assistance to the government of Romania to facilitate the delivery and transition of operational personnel and equipment to Mali.

Recommendation 5

That the Government of Canada provide to Parliament a thorough explanation of how Operation PRESENCE serves Canada’s national interest ...
More in full report of the Standing Committee on National Defence issued Friday here, and from CBC.ca here.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #495 on: June 11, 2019, 18:40:39 »
post removed for OPSEC

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« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 18:48:07 by Humphrey Bogart »
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #496 on: June 14, 2019, 14:30:22 »
The latest from the info-machine - highlights mine ...
Quote
In July 2018, Canada joined 56 other UN Member States as a contributor to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to provide medical evacuation by air of injured personnel, supply transport and logistics support.

Since then, the men and women deployed under Operation PRESENCE - Mali have conducted 10 medical evacuations. Canadian helicopters have accumulated more than 3,000 flying hours, transported more than 6,400 passengers and delivered more than 370,000 pounds of cargo. This contribution has provided essential support to MINUSMA in the execution of its mission to support the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement.

In anticipation of the arrival in Mali of a Romanian helicopter rotation this year, Canada is confirming that the Air Task Force (ATF) will begin its gradual departure at the end of July and its operations will be gradually scaled down and limited to medical evacuation tasks until August 31, 2019. This is consistent with strategic advice provided by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

This phased approach will ensure a smooth and efficient transition process between the Canadian and Romanian rotations. A small CAF transition team will be deployed to assist Romania in its preparations to commence operations, and Canada has offered to provide four C-17 aircraft flights to assist Romania to deploy their personnel and equipment to theatre.
This approach will minimize disruption in the availability of critical capabilities to MINUSMA forces and help set up the Romanian rotation for operational success.

Setting conditions for peace is central to Canada’s work in Mali. To that end, Canada will continue its long-standing support through its development, stabilization and humanitarian programming.
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #498 on: June 14, 2019, 16:49:03 »
From https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/06/14/liberals-push-end-of-mali-peacekeeping-mission-to-august-3/#.XQQBuXdFyUl"
Quote
The Canadian Forces' peacekeeping mission in Mali is going to last a little longer than previously planned — but not as long as the United Nations hoped...

The UN had asked Canada to stay until October, when Romanian troops take over, to minimize a gap in providing lifesaving medical evacuations for injured UN peacekeepers.

Global Affairs Canada said Friday that operations will wind down after July 31 and gradually be restricted to only medical evacuations until Aug. 31.

A small Canadian transition team will help Romania set up its operations, including the use of C-17 airplanes to help get troops and equipment into the country...

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan insisted the announcement doesn't mean the government is extending the mission.

"Up until the end of July, we will maintain all the missions that we've been conducting. However, to conduct a smooth transition we are going to be focusing strictly on medical evacuations so we can start doing that transition," he told reporters outside the House of Commons. "And this will allow for that gradual handover."..

This is so begrudging, unwilling, half-hearted that it's truly embarrassing after this government's blather about Canada being back, re-committing to peacekeeping (whatever one's own views on such missions), etc., etc..  What serious countries (esp. our NATO allies in Europe) and many in Africa must now think about us one shudders to contemplate.

No UNSC seat for sure (thank goodness in my view).

Mark
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Re: Op PRESENCE/Mali (Cdn mission/s, sitreps, etc. - merged)
« Reply #499 on: June 15, 2019, 07:07:57 »
Amazing. We can't get regular sustainment flights of C-17s into Canadian operations because they're constantly broken due to being run hard almost 24/7, but we can afford to give one up to help the Romanians out?  :facepalm: