Canadian soldiers are operating in Ukraine, according to several media, including the New York Times. They are providing weapons and training to the Ukrainian armed forces and collect intelligence on the Russians
Asked about this information, the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre, said that the army “will never talk about discreet or sensitive special operations, nor confirm or deny them”. It is better to abstain than to lie.
A clue to the missions carried out by the Canadian commandos can be found in the list of equipment provided by Canada to the Ukrainian armed forces. It includes .50 caliber ultra-long range rifles. In Latvia, Canadian soldiers are also training that country's military to use these weapons.
The Canadian Armed Forces have a worldwide reputation in this area. Their snipers hold three of the five world records for lethal shooting distance.
In 2017, a Canadian soldier fired the longest lethal shot in military history in Iraq from 3450m away. In Montreal, a shooter in the cross of Mount Royal would hit a target at the Clock Tower in the Old Port. To hit such a distant target, the Canadian sniper had to adjust his weapon to take into account the wind, the angle of the sunlight, even the curvature of the earth and its rotational speed at his firing latitude. The projectile took about 10 seconds to kill the Islamic State fighter.
In an email to NPR, Special Operations Command revealed that the shooting was carried out by a member of Joint Task Force Two, JTF-2. It added: “For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our staff and coalition partners, we will not be discussing specific details of when and how this incident occurred.
Pride obliges truth
In December 2014, a source familiar with its operations in Iraq told me that members of JTF-2 were involved in operations to kill Islamist fighters at great distances. WhenThe Journaland QMI Agency reported that Canadian snipers were engaged against Daesh in Iraq, Ottawa denied that CAF members were “directly engaged in sniper activity against the Islamic State”. p>
Major General Michael Hood, then Chief of Staff of the Canadian Forces, even said in a statement: “Members in Iraq are working within the framework of a well-defined mission that was adopted in the House of Commons. We have made it clear that this mission does not involve ground troops in a combat role.”
At the end of 2016, National Defense told Maclean’s magazine that its soldiers were not taking part in combat: “Our mandate has not changed. We are here to train, advise and assist.”
When a Canadian sniper set a world record by shooting down a Daesh fighter, National Defense dropped that fiction to enjoy the glory associated with the exploit.
Are the JTF-2 commandos currently in Ukraine carrying out this kind of operation? If they do, confirmation certainly won't come from Ottawa…unless one of them sets a new world record.
The most accurate rifle in the world
The .50 caliber C15A2 sniper rifle (McMillan TAC-50) is considered the most accurate rifle in the world. Nicknamed “Big Mac”, it has been the standard weapon for Canadian snipers since 2000. The A2 variant of the C15s entered service in 2017. It is a manually operated bolt-action rifle, fed by a detachable 5-round magazine . It consists of a modular aluminum frame with a pistol grip and a folding stock and is equipped with a multi-position adjustable bipod, a variable power telescope and a silencer.
< h3>Records Shattered
Two Canadian snipers set world records for lethal shooting in March 2002 in Afghanistan's Shah-i-Kot Valley, killing Islamist fighters at distances of 2310 and 2426 meters. Five JTF-2 commandos killed more than 20 Taliban at similar ranges, earning US Bronze Star medals. In 2004, the JTF-2 unit in Afghanistan received the Presidential Unit Citation from President George W. Bush.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128