Yesterday, Brigadier-General (BGen) Michael Wright assumed command of Joint Task Force – IMPACT (JTF-I) and Task Force – Central (TF-C) in Camp Canada, Kuwait. BGen Wright has taken over from BGen Michel-Henri St-Louis, who has commanded JTF-I – since May 2019 and who recently took over command of TF-C in April 2020.
Operation IMPACT is Canada’s training and capacity building mission in the Middle East. It helps set the conditions for the long-term success of regional partners by enabling their security forces to more effectively plan and execute military operations aimed at degrading and defeating violent extremist groups like Daesh and improving security and stability in the region. JTF-I focuses on mentorship and training with an overarching goal of enhancing capabilities, capacities and competencies of partnered nations with an emphasis on commanders, leaders and instructors.
TF-C operates under Operation FOUNDATION, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to counter terrorism in collaboration with the United States and other countries. TF-C also includes staff officers and other personnel deployed in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi (U.A.E).
“This change of command highlights the fact that Joint Task Force – IMPACT has delivered effects for another year. With an exceptional team of women and men working across an area of responsibility that covers seven different countries, we were able to generate positive results for our partners and allies. Whether it was building capacity in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, dealing with the regional spike in tensions in early 2020, adapting to the COVID-19 reality or contributing to operations in the Persian Gulf, this team met every challenge and I am honoured to have been part of it.”
Brigadier-General Michel-Henri St-Louis, Outgoing Commander, Joint Task Force – IMPACT & Task Force CENTRAL
“I am very excited to be taking command of Joint Task Force-IMPACT. Over the past year Brigadier-General St-Louis and his team have done an exceptional job realigning the mission to capacity building while adapting to significant regional tensions as well as the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this team and am looking forward to continuing to enhance regional stability while demonstrating the Government of Canada’s commitment to peace and security in the Middle East.”
Brigadier-General Michael Wright, Incoming Commander, Joint Task Force – IMPACT & Task Force CENTRAL
Since May 2019, JTF-I has provided airlift capabilities to support CAF efforts and the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh, and trained and mentored partners in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon in areas including:
- Combat first aid;
- Weapons training;
- Explosive threat training;
- Winter operations;
- Civil-military cooperation; and
- Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence.
- Headquarters located in Kuwait responsible for command and control of the mission;
- Canadian Training and Assistance Teams in Jordan (CTAT-J) and Lebanon (CTAT-L) to enhance their military and security capacities through mentorship and training and project/infrastructure delivery.
- An air task force with elements in Kuwait and Iraq responsible for the movement of Canadian, Coalition, and NATO personnel and equipment within areas of operations;
- A Training and Coordination Unit that is the National Command and Support Element for Iraq. It supports and coordinates the CAF’s security force capacity building efforts throughout Iraq in order to advance national regional security interests and assist NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) and the United States-led Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR);
- Staff officers and training assistance teams embedded with US- led CJTF-OIR whose ongoing efforts ensure a lasting defeat of Daesh in Iraq;
- Staff officers and training assistance teams embedded with the NMI and providing mentoring, assistance and training to Iraqi Security Forces, as well as assistance to the Government of Iraq to further strengthen its security institutions; and
- A number of support units, including a Military Police Unit with detachments in Kuwait and Iraq and the Operational Support Hub-South West Asia which provides sustained support to CAF operations in the region.
Measures were also implemented since March 2020 to protect deployed personnel from the risks associated with COVID-19.