Military team to depart next week to prep for deployment of Canada's ISIS mission
A team of about 120 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will depart for the Middle East next week as Canada gears up to join the fight against ISIS in Iraq.
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson announced Saturday that the Canadian Forces' Theater Activation Team will depart from Trenton, Ont., next week.
The team is responsible for setting up the infrastructure support needed for the launch of Canada's air mission.
"The deployment of the Theatre Activation Team is a key step in arranging the initial preparations for the CAF units that will deploy in support of Operation IMPACT," Nicholson said in a statement.
"Responsible for initiating the infrastructure support required in-theatre, this team plays an important role in support of our mission."
Last week, the Tory-dominated House of Commons approved a motion to have Canada join the U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq for a period of up to six months. Canada's mission will be based out of Kuwait.
Canada has committed six CF-18s, two surveillance CP-140 Auroras, a refuelling plane and about 600 aircraft support personnel to the mission. While the mission does not include any combat troops, a small team of about 69 special ops are serving in Iraq as advisors to Iraqi troops.
It is expected to take about three weeks to get the aircraft in place and ready to conduct operations.
With files from The Canadian Press