Defence Minister Anita Anand and Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre concluded a trip to Scotland, Kuwait, and Jordan, where they met with and thanked Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members deployed abroad.

In Scotland, Minister Anand and General Eyre visited Prestwick, where a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Air Mobility Detachment is deployed and delivering Ukraine-bound military aid donated by Canada, Allies, and partners to third country locations – and supporting other CAF missions such as Operation REASSURANCE. Minister Anand and General Eyre thanked members of the RCAF Detachment for their unwavering dedication to supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and for having delivered over 5.5 million pounds of aid. The RCAF Detachment in Prestwick includes three CC-130 Hercules aircraft, access to CC-177 Globemaster aircraft, and approximately 60 personnel. Illustrating its fast operational tempo, the Detachment uses the motto, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.”

In Kuwait, Minister Anand and General Eyre met with Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and Chief of the General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Sheikh Khaled Saleh Al-Sabah. Minister Anand thanked Kuwait for its continued support to the CAF and for being a steadfast host and partner in the region. This partnership was reiterated with Kuwait’s invaluable support in helping to evacuate Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible Afghan nationals from Afghanistan in 2021 under Operation AEGIS, for which Canada remains extremely grateful. Also in Kuwait, Minister Anand and General Eyre visited Ali Al Salem Air Base and thanked CAF members deployed on Operation IMPACT – Canada’s mission to build the conditions for stability and security in Middle East. Operation IMPACT employs CAF members across multiple countries throughout the Middle East. A significant portion of these personnel are deployed in Kuwait.

Finally, Minister Anand and General Eyre travelled to Jordan, where they met with His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Maj.-Gen. Yousef Huneiti. The King, the Minister, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Chief of the Defence Staff discussed the important partnership between Canada and Jordan, and Canada’s efforts to build partner capacity with the Jordanian Armed Forces, which have been ongoing since 2016. Minister Anand and General Eyre also met with CAF personnel in Jordan. Under Operation IMPACT, CAF personnel deployed to Jordan, work as trainers, advisors, and mentors for key capabilities such as combat service support and assist with the implementation of a gender perspective in military operations. Canada has been providing value-added advice, support, and alternative perspectives to the Jordanian Armed Forces under Operation IMPACT since 2018, leveraging CAF experience and insight.

On all segments of their trip, Minister Anand and General Eyre reiterated their sincere gratitude for the service and many sacrifices of CAF members deployed around the world – especially those who will remain deployed far from home this holiday season. Through Operation REASSURANCE, Operation IMPACT, and other global missions, Canada continues to make important contributions to peace, security, and stability around the world.

“As 2022 draws to a close and as we all mark the holiday season, I extend my sincere and heartfelt good wishes to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Day in and day out, they work tirelessly to keep Canadians safe. During this holiday season, and always, we are immensely grateful for their contributions to Canada. I am especially grateful to all members of our military who are deployed far from home during this holiday season. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank them for their sacrifices to defend Canada, our Allies, and our way of life. I wish them all a very happy holiday season, and a successful new year.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“Our armed forces members make tremendous sacrifices, each and every day, as they serve Canada at home and abroad. I am immensely proud of their dedication and professionalism and humbled by the many vital contributions they are making while away from their family and friends this holiday season. The Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer and I were honoured to recognize their efforts and bring them our personal best wishes during these visits, and we sincerely thank them and their families once again for their service and sacrifice. I wish all of our deployed sailors, soldiers and aviators a happy and healthy holiday season and all the very best for 2023.” General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff