The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Anita Anand, announced today that Canada has authorized the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel to train new recruits from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as they seek to increase the size of their ground forces in the face of Russia’s ongoing unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal invasion.
Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training and capacity building mission in Ukraine, the CAF will deploy up to 225 personnel to the United Kingdom, the majority of whom will work as trainers, supported by a command and control element, for an initial deployment of approximately four months. The first of up to three training cohorts, consisting of approximately 90 soldiers, will be largely drawn from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Edmonton, Alberta. They are scheduled to depart on 12 August and will begin leading courses in the weeks’ following.
The first Canadian-led courses will take place at a military base located in South East England, and will teach a flexible curriculum focused on individual skills required for frontline combat, including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics and the Law of Armed Conflict.
Operation UNIFIER was launched in 2015 at the request of the Ukrainian government, and early this year, was expanded and extended until March 2025. Aspects of the mission were temporarily paused following the February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with a commitment to resume training when and where conditions permitted. Since February 2022, Canada has committed or delivered $626 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including M777 howitzer artillery guns with replacement barrels and compatible ammunition, as well as specialized drone cameras and Armoured Combat Support Vehicles, and associated training.
“Despite the heinous Russian invasion of Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER has continued, and this new aspect is only the latest in a series of activities by Canada that has trained well over 33,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2015. When we paused training in Ukraine this past winter, we said clearly that we would resume the training whenever and wherever the opportunity arose. We made good on the promise providing training on Canadian donated artillery and munitions in third nations, which continues. By working with the United Kingdom, we will continue to make good on that promise. Canada salutes the courage and bravery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and we will continue to help empower them with the skills that they need to defend their nation’s freedom and independence.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
“Canada is known for the quality of training it provides to other nations. This training, as we have seen, results in strategic effect of great value. From recent engagements such as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, it is abundantly clear that training is a critical component to sustaining Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself in the short to long term. Building on the Canadian Armed Forces’ already close relationship with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Canada is proud to work alongside like-minded nations such as the United Kingdom to further support their training needs.”
General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff
- Canada is one among other allied nations contributing to this British-led initiative, with the Netherlands and New Zealand also committing to sending military trainers.
- CAF members on UNIFIER ROTO 14 will be largely drawn from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) based out of Edmonton, Alberta.
- Since the start of Op UNIFIER in September of 2015, the CAF has trained over 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel in battlefield tactics and advanced military skills. As the mission progressed, much of the direct training undertaken by CAF members transitioned to members of the Security Forces of Ukraine, with Canadians acting as advisors and mentors as well as assisting in the development of courses.