Wednesday, December 9, 2015

OP PROVISION: Mission Details

Published by DND: Current Operations - OP PROVISION

Operation PROVISION is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Government of Canada’s initiative to resettle 25,000 Syrian Refugees in Canada by the end of February 2016.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the lead department for Canada’s efforts with numerous supporting departments including:
  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA);
  • the Department of National Defence (DND);
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC);
  • Public Health Agency of Canada;
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada;
  • Public Safety Canada; and
  • the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP);
  • The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution
The requirement for military support, and the extent of that support for this Government of Canada initiative is still being assessed at this point in time.

The CAF is prepared to provide interim lodging for approximately 6,000 refugees at various bases and facilities throughout Ontario and Quebec, and an additional 7,000 at facilities across Canada, if need be.

Accommodations at bases and wings are but one option being explored to provide interim lodging to refugees as part of a broader Government of Canada initiative.

If requested, the CAF is prepared to provide interim lodging for refugees at the following bases/wings in Ontario and Quebec:
  • Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston;
  • CFB Borden;
  • 8 Wing Trenton;
  • 4th Canadian Division Training Centre in Meaford, Ontario; and
  • Garrison Petawawa; and
  • 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier.
To date, approximately 200 CAF personnel have deployed to Aerial Ports of Embarkation (APOEs) in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan combined to support the Government of Canada initiative.

While tasks vary at each APOE, deployed CAF personnel are currently:
  • Assisting the Canadian Defence Attach├ęs (CDAs);
  • Acting as Liaison Officers between the CDA and Canadian Joint Operations Command;
  • Assisting IRCC with the administrative processing of refugee applications, including the collection of biometric data; and
  • Providing a CAF command and control element.
  • Mission Context

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, millions of people have fled the country seeking safety and resettlement internationally. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, since the beginning of 2015, more than 720,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean, undertaking journeys from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, and other regions torn apart by war, hunger and violence.
Canada’s response

On 9 November 2015, the Government of Canada officially announced its commitment to welcome approximately 25,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan to Canada by the end of February 2016, with an initial group of 10,000 arriving by 31 December, 2015.

The Government of Canada plan has five phases:
  • identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada;
  • selecting and processing Syrian refugees overseas;
  • transportation to Canada;
  • arrival and welcoming in Canada; and
  • settlement and community integration.

The Government of Canada is also working alongside non-governmental organizations including the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Red Cross, and Canadian companies, charities, and service providers

Mission timeline:

9 November 2015 – the Government of Canada announced the creation of a new Cabinet ad hoc committee to help bring Syrian refugees to Canada.

Mid-November 2015 – the CAF deploys 12 personnel to assist Canadian Defence Attach├ęs (CDAs) in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey and to act as Liaison Officers between the CDAs and Canadian Joint Operations Command.

28 November 2015 – the CAF deploys members of 2nd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment based at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, to assist IRCC with the screening of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

As of 01 December 2015 – the CAF continues to deploy medical specialists and other personnel to assist IRCC in Lebanon and Jordan, as requested.
Previous CAF support to emergency humanitarian evacuations (Historical Precedent) 

Operation MAGNET (1978) - Following the collapse of the South Vietnamese government and the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Government of Canada through the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and Department (CEICD) and the Canadian Forces arranged for the airlift and resettlement of over 50,000 people from Vietnam. Op MAGNET occurred in three phases from 1978-1981.

Operation PARASOL (1999) – The Canadian Forces was called upon to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to assist displaced refugees from the Serbian province of Kosovo. As part of Operation PARASOL, more than 5,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees were airlifted to Canada and temporarily accommodated at various bases across the country.

External links
Government of Canada

#WelcomeRefugees (Government of Canada)

Announcement of action on Syrian refugee crisis (IRCC)

Conflict in Syria (DFATD)

Canada’s response to the conflict in Syria (DFATD)
External Links

Syria Regional Refugee Response (UNHCR)

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