By: JTF–I Public Affairs Officer
DND Press Release:
Operation IMPACT began with the delivery of more than 1.6 million pounds of equipment from Canada to Kuwait in the late summer of 2014. This materiel was brought over to establish a base camp from which to conduct air operations to degrade, dismantle and eventually defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. After approximately 20 months of operations, Camp Canada is expanding in line with the refocused mandate of Operation IMPACT.
“We have levelled new ground here, expanding into land given to us to level and repurpose,” said the Joint Task Force Support Component Adjudant. “Working from a plan and map designed for us by our engineers, we are creating more bed spaces and a larger morale and welfare area to meet the influx of new people. Our operations cell coordinates the efforts across the different specialist groups to ensure the wide diversity of projects and tasks are managed and completed on time. Our logisticians, engineers, and signals personnel have made much of the construction appear seamless.”
In a very short period of time, the Joint Task Force Support Component (JTFSC) expanded the camp by more than 10,000 square metres. The camp now includes new headquarters space, weight and cardio rooms, the new Canada House with a recreation area and a multi-purpose room, a new health services tent, and a chapel, among other necessary resources for camp personnel.
An expansion like this takes meticulous planning and consideration of different units’ requirements.
“The detail that must go into the planning phase is intense,” said the Construction Engineer Commander. “For example, when planning to build a new medical inspection room, we had to think about the base, the walls and structure of the tent, the drainage material required in addition to ensuring the amount of power supply was adequate. A medical unit must have air conditioning, multiple power outlets for computers and medical equipment, lighting, and anything else they require to provide clinical care to members. All the infrastructure on base has unique needs, so we plan multiple times for each project, checking and rechecking the details, overcoming snags as we progress through our projects.”
When expanding the camp, JTFSC worked quickly to avoid any significant impact on operations. This could be a challenge when moving personnel to new sections of the camp, but JTFSC was up to the task. For example, they tore down and set up the medical inspection room in a day, with many volunteers lending a hand to ensure the process was smooth and quick. They then moved the medical unit into their new site and soon had them up and running.
“With the help of members of JTFSC, the move was done with little disruption to services and in a very smooth fashion,” said the Task Force Surgeon.
Another example is Air Task Force – Iraq (ATF-I), which was relocated in March to join Joint Task Force – Iraq. The JTFSC was able to ensure initial operational capability within just two days of ATF-I’s arrival, with little disruption to their communications capability. This relocation was recently finalized with the official closure of a satellite location of ATF-I.
Overall, constructing the new camp and moving personnel to new areas have gone quickly and smoothly.
“I have been moving throughout Camp Canada as this expansion process has been underway and appreciate the heavy lifting and intensive labour of the JTFSC,” said Chief Petty Officer Andrew Tiffin, JTF-I Sergeant Major. “In a matter of weeks the camp has been completely transformed and to all those involved I want to say thank-you on behalf of the Commander, Brigadier-General James Irvine, and me.”