JTF2’s top priorites: Dealing with domestic terror attack, 2010 Olympics says commander


By David Pugliese


The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Canada’s special forces including Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) have identified their top two priorities as improving their ability to deal with a terrorist attack at home as well as preparing to provide security for the 2010 Olympics, according to a new publication being circulated among the military’s senior leadership.


The third and fourth priorities, respectively, are the contribution to international operations and the growth over the longer term of the special forces command, the organization that includes the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2  counter-terrorism unit and a special operations regiment in Petawawa.


The overview of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) was produced in August and has made the rounds of the senior military leadership in the last several weeks. It is seen as a primer to explain what the command does and the direction it is headed.


The command’s continued development of domestic counter-terrorism skills includes the capability to deal with nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attacks as well as to quickly provide a special operations task force to support law enforcement agencies. In the case of a terrorism incident in Canada, civilian law enforcement organizations would be the first to respond. Units such as JTF2 would be called in as a last resort.


For the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the command notes that its ongoing preparation “includes completing the requisite planning, training, growth and integration required to provide the necessary (special operations forces) capability to assist with other government efforts to ensure the security of the Games.”


The command is expected to play a major security role at the Olympics and it is likely that much of JTF2’s force will be stationed in B.C. for the Games.


Commander Col. Michael Day points out in the publication that while special forces rely on intelligence and tight operational security, “Just as critical, they are dependent on enlightened and educated support by our conventional forces, allies and coalition partners as well as strong informed leadership with the CF.”


“The requirement for leaders of today and the future to have a full and in-depth understanding of who and what CANSOFCOM is, and most importantly, how to leverage the incredible capability our men and women represent, is critical to their success,” Col. Day writes.


In an interview earlier this year, Col. Day said the education about special forces within the Canadian military and government is continuing.


“That education piece is our responsibility,” he said. “If there’s ignorance, that’s our problem to solve.”


According to the publication, the command sees its contribution to international missions as including not only support to Canadian military operations, but also providing assistance to other government departments. In addition, that would include helping “select nations and allies to develop capacities and skills sets so that they can provide for their own internal security and defence,” the overview points out.


That is an indication that Canadian special operations could undertake training missions overseas, such as U.S. Green Berets.


The publication emphasizes that special forces must be used properly and such units are not a substitute for conventional forces. “In most cases, SOF are neither trained, nor equipped to conduct sustained conventional combat operations, and should not be substituted for conventional units,” it adds.


For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:




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  1. IS THE JACKAL SET TO BECOME JTF2’S NEW VEHICLE? - News and Opinion Blog of Blogs Says:

    […] CANSOFCOM is on the hunt for a new special operations vehicle and has drilled its search down to two candidates; a product from AM General, the makers of the Humvee currently being used by JTF2 and CSOR and Lockheed Martin offering the Supacat family (Lockheed Martin has received North American marketing rights for the Supacat vehicles, which are designed in the UK).The industry officials I have consulted on this say the documentation that was issued by Public Works/DND last year for the vehicle requirements appeared to favor the Supacat Jackal. However, CANSOFCOM is also happy with its AM General products and could go that route, since its unit often co-operates with U.S. SOF.The procurement calls for 80 special reconnaissance (SR) and 20 quick reaction (QR) vehicles. The SOIQ calls for a vehicle capable of accepting a main weapon, either a heavy machine gun or automatic grenade launcher. There will also be a general purpose machine-gun as a backup as well as secondary weapons. Also included is a smoke grenade launcher system.In a situation where two tires have been shot out, both the SR and QR variants must be able to keep moving under their own power at no less than 30 kph for at least 25 km. Mercedes and related German firms decided against throwing their Wolf (essentially a SOF outfitted G-Wagen) into the ring as the stated requirements tended to point towards a larger vehicle like the Jackal.BAE Land Systems and Armaments had planned to propose a variant of the RG-32M to CANSOFCOM but if they did offer that, then it didn’t make the cut.The Canadian-American Strategic Review website at Simon Fraser University has an excellent overview of the two remaining vehicle candidates and researcher Stephen Priestley has discovered an interesting development It seems CANSOFCOM has also the need for new fork-lifts. Mr. Priestley notes that the Jackal comes with a special kit to transform the vehicle from a 4X4 to a 6X6. To do that requires hand tools and a 10K forklift that CANSOFCOM wants to buy.Coincidence? Maybe, since CANSOFCOM would probably have need for forklifts and other such support gear as it expands its numbers and capabilities.Mr. Priestley’s rundown on the candidate vehicles as well as the details on the forklift purchase can be reached here:http://www.casr.ca/bg-army-special-forces-sov-update.htmFor previous articles I have written on JTF2 or CANSOFCOM or CSOR go to the following links:https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/jtf2-gets-vehicles-by-david-pugliese-ottawa-citizen/https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/jtf2-top-priority-is-olympics-says-cansofcom-commander/https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/david-pugliese-jtf2-base-ottawa-citizen/https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/david-pugliese-jtf2-ottawa-citizen-joint-task-force-2/https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/jtf2-joint-task-force-2-to-move-by-david-pugliese/https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/david-pugliese-jtf-joint-task-force-2-hunts-taliban/ […]

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