Canadian troops in Iraq have begun training the Iraq army on the threat of improvised explosive devices(IED), and have updated their Royal Canadian Air Force contributions to Operation Impact.
Nearly 20 Canadian army engineers from CFB Petawawa have been deployed to Besmaya, Iraq, to deliver explosive threat training to the Iraqi security forces.
Canada will provide at least three rounds of training in the months ahead to Iraqi army bomb disposal school instructors. This is being done, the military says, with the aim of establishing a group of soldiers within the Iraqi security forces who can instruct on counter-improvised explosive devices.
The counter IED training team is in addition to the ongoing military contribution in the region, in an effort to boost the local force’s capacity to defeat ISIS. Brig.-Gen. MacIsaac said Canada’s help on this front was asked of them by the Iraqi army.
Brigadier-General Dan MacIsaac, commander of the Joint Task Force-Iraq said, “The Iraqi army is carrying most of the weight of defeating Daesh, ” using another name for ISIS. “They have lost many soldiers.”
A second Hercules aircraft has also been sent to join the joint task force in Iraq. The cargo aircraft has already deployed from CFB Trenton.
The Canadian military says this is to enhance Canada’s contribution to the coalition’s air transport of troops and equipment.
Canada joined Operation Impact, the U.S.-led multinational coalition to defeat ISIS, in 2014. Canada’s role has been in an “advise-and-assist” capacity, working with Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq.In June, the Canadian government updated the mission, committing up to 850 troops until March 2019, at a cost of $371 million.