Canada sending CC-130J to support UN operations in Africa


Canada will be providing the United Nations with a CC-130J Super Hercules tactical airlifter, which will be based at Entebbe, in Uganda, to support its missions on the continent.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 15 August said the aircraft will be deployed for a year from as early as August.

The Tactical Airlift Detachment will consist of a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J, operated and supported by up to 25 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. It will deploy for up to five days each month to assist with transporting troops, equipment and supplies to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Canada is dedicated to supporting United Nations (UN) peacekeeping by providing innovative contributions and addressing critical capability gaps, the RCAF said. This includes ensuring the UN has reliable and predictable access to high-end military capabilities required to support sustainable peace and security in areas affected by conflict.

During the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial hosted by Canada in Vancouver in November 2017, Canada committed a number of “smart pledges” of high value military capabilities to be deployed in a five-year timeframe with planned and predictable rotations with other member states. These pledges were a Quick Reaction Force and accompanying equipment; an Aviation Task Force (ATF) of medium utility and armed helicopters; and tactical airlift support to address critical gaps in the UN’s ability to transport troops, equipment, and supplies to their missions.

“Today’s announcement fulfills a commitment we made during the Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver in November 2017,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan on 15 August. “This capability will play an important role in helping supply military and police personnel on UN peace operations in the region, with critical resources. We look forward to working with other Member States to turn this flexible capability into another smart pledge rotation.”

In March 2018, Canada committed to deploying the ATF to MINUSMA for a period of one year. Known as Operation Presence-Mali, the ATF became operational in August 2018 and is providing critical medical evacuation, logistics and transportation capability to the UN out of Gao, northern Mali. The ATF will complete its mission on 31 August.