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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Election 2015: Kenney - Conservatives to Increase CANSOFCOM

In an election promise that was made about 2 weeks ago - but went unnoticed by many - Defence Minister Jason Kenney who is running for re-election in Calgary-Midnapore announced in Regina that if the Conservatives are re-elected, they will increase the size of the Canadian Armed Forces Special Forces by 35% over the next several years.

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CAF JTF2 Members in Jamaica; helpin train the Jamaican Military on counter-insurgency engagement. Photo: Ottawa Citizen December 2014
The Canadian Armed Forces Special Operations Command (CANSOFCOM) is currently made up of five units; composed of just over 1,900 personnel. The Conservatives want to increase the Special Forces community by some 665 members by 2022. 

Such a plan, according to Kenney would require $75 million over the next four years. Kenney said that the Conservatives would invest $10 million in 2016-17, increasing to $30 million in 2019-20. Once the expansion was complete, the new CANSOFCOM would require $50 million a year to maintain the troop levels. 

Increasing the Special Forces community would help the CAF meet all its operational requirements, within Canada and Internationally. "Expansion of the Special Forces units will ensure that our Armed Forces are prepared to respond to the terror threat posed by groups such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)," Kenney said.