UN logistics training comes to Canada

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Preparation for Peace Support Operations (PSO) got under way late November 2016 when 26 Canadian Armed Forces officers gathered in Ottawa to undertake a unique course on sustainment alongside United Nations and African Union personnel.

While waiting for government and the Chief of the Defence Staff direction for deployments to conduct PSO, understanding the environment, context, and process under which the Canadian Contingent will work and operate alongside other UN countries contributing troops is necessary for mission success.

Recognizing that UN sustainment experience at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels was not widespread, the Strategic J4 Staff invited four instructors from Africa with current UN and African Union (AU) experience to teach sustainment to key staff and planners across the organization.

The first week of training was focussed on how UN and AU organizations approach PSO. Subjects included UN governance and PSO, integrated UN-AU missions, mission support structures, and contingent-owned equipment. Students got an enhanced understanding of the complexities of operating under a UN mandate, and the importance of knowing how the UN operates at all levels.

Week two was primarily focussed on the complexities of memorandums of understanding (MOUs), which are the strategic-level, bi-lateral agreements negotiated between the UN and contributing nations for UN PSO across the globe. MOUs are an essential element for planners at all levels to understand due to their impact on UN operations.

This was the first CAF UN sustainment course in over a decade, and students received a better understanding of not only the complexities of operating within a UN context, but also the value of understanding the UN system prior to a deployment on a mission.

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