Day: February 16, 2021

Boarding parties in the Persian Gulf
Defence Today, Front Lines

Boarding parties in the Persian Gulf

Canadian sailors had limited to no experience in boarding potentially hostile ships at sea when they embarked on their mission to the Persian Gulf in August 1990. Yet this was to be one of their primary roles. Their British and American allies had marines and others specially armed for and trained in hailing foreign vessels and boarding them. Canadian sailors did the bulk of their training as they crossed the Atlantic from Halifax. They were understandably concerned as the three ships pulled into port at Manama, Bahrain’s capital city, before assuming their seaborne duties. During the stopover, headquarters staff assured them they had nothing to worry about. “The Brits and the Americans are saying ‘don’t worry about it, we rarely do boardings; we never do a boarding in rough seas;...
Operation Moshtarak
Military History, Military Milestones

Operation Moshtarak

In mid-February 2010, Canadian troops and helicopters were involved in launching the largest NATO attack to that date on the Taliban. It was called Operation Moshtarak, which means ‘together’ in the Dari language. More than 15,000 coalition soldiers and 50 helicopters converged on the small city of Marjah and surrounding farmland, a hub for the Taliban and the opium poppy production that supports them. The idea was to oust the Taliban and drug lords, win over the local population, reintegrate local government and persuade farmers to replace poppies with farm crops and give them the stability to do so. “This is the ultimate kind of goal for us,” helicopter wing commander Col. Jeff Smyth said in an interview with CTV. The air attack was the biggest mission for the Canadian Armed For...

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