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Government’s “smart pledge” of RCAF aircraft for UN still not met

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A little more than nine months ago the Canadian government announced its “first smart pledge” as part of its renewed emphasis on helping the United Nations. It would station a C-130 Hercules aircraft to provide tactical airlift support for the UN’s Regional Support Centre in Entebbe Uganda. At the November announcement the government noted that “preparations for deployment are currently underway.”

During a March 28 visit this year to the UN, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan once again highlighted the pledge. “Last November, we committed a C-130 Hercules aircraft to provide tactical airlift support for the UN’s Regional Support Centre in Entebbe,” he said. “Preparations for deployment are currently underway. This contribution speaks to our support in helping to enable the UN’s rapid deployment capacities and effective delivery in the field.”

The aircraft was to service several African missions.

Defense Watch received a report that this contribution has run into various problems, in particular setting up an arrangement with the Ugandan government to have Canadian military personnel in that country. So what is happening?

“This initiative is still very much in the planning stages,” Maj. Kendrah Allison of the Strategic Joint Staff Public Affairs, noted in an email. “As such, it would be premature to provide any further details.”

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