In the last four articles of this series, I’ve talked about a number of factors that make up Canadian SOF. But what have Canada’s Special Operations units been up to over the last two decades? We tend not to talk about it very much, but there is open-source information out there that I’m proud to point out in the final article in this series.

One of the best articles on the Canadian Special Forces’ contribution to the Global War On Terror (GWOT), is Chaos in Kandahar, The Battle For Building 4. It tells of the Green Team and their Afghan National Special Police Unit’s role in the fight against Taliban insurgents who conducted a massive coordinated attack in the city on the afternoon of 7 May 2011. The bravery shown this day by the men of Special Operations Task Force-58 (SOTF-59) garnered a series of awards, including two stars of Military Valour and a Medal of Military Valour.

Our most well-known roll in the GWOT is our time spent in Afghanistan. Initiated by JTF2’s roll with the NATO task force during the invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in September 2001. We maintained a presence in Afghanistan alongside our NATO allies up until the withdrawal of all Canadian troops in March 2014, ending Canada’s 12-year military presence in the country. We could not have foreseen how quickly we would return to the Middle East.

Over the last several years, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), which includes Joint Task Force 2, CSOR, CJIRU, and 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, has operated in several countries in addition to Afghanistan, including Mali, Jamaica, Niger, Libya, Kenya, Jordan, and most recently, Iraq.