Canada-Jamaica Defence Relations — Backgrounder

Cana­da and Jamaica enjoy close, long­stand­ing, and his­toric bilat­er­al rela­tions that include hemi­spher­ic and inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion, secu­ri­ty and defence coop­er­a­tion, trade and invest­ment links, offi­cial devel­op­ment assis­tance, and tourism. There is also a large Jamaican com­mu­ni­ty in Cana­da esti­mat­ed at 300 000 peo­ple. Cana­da and Jamaica coop­er­ate with­in the Com­mon­wealth, the Unit­ed Nations and the Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States. 

Here you can find more infor­ma­tion about: 

  • Cana­da and Jamaica share a long-stand­ing, close bilat­er­al defence rela­tion­ship that con­tin­ues to grow. The Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence (DND)/Canadian Forces (CF) and Jamaica con­tin­ue to explore fur­ther oppor­tu­ni­ties to expand bilat­er­al defence coop­er­a­tion with Jamaica and sup­port broad­er capac­i­ty build­ing in the Caribbean. Exam­ples of defence coop­er­a­tion between Cana­da and Jamaica include:
  • Jamaican Oper­a­tional Sup­port Hub — Facil­i­tat­ed through an arrange­ment signed in June 2012, this Oper­a­tional Sup­port Hub will build on past suc­cess­ful coop­er­a­tion and fur­ther expand Cana­da-Jamaica bilat­er­al defence relations.
  • Mil­i­tary Train­ing and Coop­er­a­tion Pro­gram (MTCP) — Since Jamaica became a mem­ber of the MTCP in 1965, over 1300 Jamaican mil­i­tary per­son­nel have received train­ing through this pro­gram, a num­ber which con­tin­ues to increase every year.
    • Jamaica Mil­i­tary Avi­a­tion School — Estab­lished in 2006 with assis­tance from DND/CF, this school pro­vides train­ing to inter­na­tion­al part­ners in the Caribbean.
    • Caribbean Mil­i­tary Mar­itime Train­ing Cen­tre — Estab­lished in 2011 with the aim to build mar­itime capac­i­ty for Jamaica and the region.
    • Caribbean Counter-Ter­ror­ism Train­ing Cen­tre — The five-year train­ing pro­gram at the cen­tre con­sists of three annu­al train­ing seri­als, pro­vi­sion of per­son­al equip­ment and one major train­ing infra­struc­ture project per year. The train­ing has now entered into year three of the pro­gram fund­ed by the Counter-Ter­ror­ism Capac­i­ty Build­ing Pro­gram (CTCBP).
  • Caribbean Junior Com­mand and Staff Course (CJCSC) – Con­duct­ed annu­al­ly in Jamaica since 1993, the CJCSC is a cor­ner­stone capac­i­ty build­ing ini­tia­tive for Jamaica and the Caribbean.
  • Exer­cise Trop­i­cal Ham­mer — Joint­ly run with the Cana­di­an Oper­a­tional Sup­port Com­mand (CANOSCOM) from 2007–2009, this exer­cise worked to mod­ern­ize Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) infra­struc­ture and assist with CF Gen­er­al Engi­neer Sup­port pre-deploy­ment train­ing for Afghanistan.
  • Oper­a­tion Jaguar — Canada’s con­tri­bu­tion of mil­i­tary avi­a­tion and search-and-res­cue capa­bil­i­ty that sup­port­ed the Jamaican Defence Force and con­duct­ed essen­tial train­ing for CF search-and-res­cue teams.
  • Oper­a­tion Hes­tia — On invi­ta­tion from the Gov­ern­ment of Jamaica, Cana­da was able to estab­lish an air bridge to move per­son­nel and sup­plies to the region to assist after the Haiti earth­quake in 2010.

In addi­tion to these ini­tia­tives, there have been a num­ber of high-lev­el bilat­er­al meet­ings and vis­its between senior mem­bers of DND/CF and their Jamaican coun­ter­parts. This includes vis­its by the Chief of Defence Staff, Com­man­der of the Cana­di­an Expe­di­tionary Force Com­mand, and Com­man­der of the Cana­di­an Army to Jamaica, and the JDF’s Chief of Staff, and the Jamaican Min­is­ter of Nation­al Secu­ri­ty to Cana­da to meet with Canada’s Min­is­ter of Nation­al Defence. 

Jamaican Oper­a­tional Sup­port Hub (OS Hub)

In Novem­ber 2011, Cana­da and Jamaica reached an agree­ment in prin­ci­ple on a nego­ti­at­ed Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) for an Oper­a­tional Sup­port Hub in Jamaica. This ini­tia­tive builds on past suc­cess­ful oper­a­tional coop­er­a­tion with the JDF dur­ing crises, such as the earth­quake in Haiti. 

With the sig­na­ture of the MOU, Cana­da has secured access to exist­ing air­port, sea­port, and oth­er logis­tics sup­port facil­i­ties in Jamaica. Once direct­ed by the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da to respond to a cri­sis in the region, and with the con­sent of the Gov­ern­ment of Jamaica, the CF will have the option to acti­vate the OS Hub in Jamaica to enable a rapid and effec­tive Cana­di­an and CF response — poten­tial­ly sav­ing lives, and pro­vid­ing safe­ty and secu­ri­ty. The MOU out­lines the pro­ce­dures that will be fol­lowed to acti­vate and oper­ate the OS Hub when required. 

Jamaica Mil­i­tary Avi­a­tion School (JMAS)

DND/CF assist­ed in the estab­lish­ment of JMAS in Decem­ber 2006. JMAS is run by JDF and pro­vides pilot train­ing to JDF and Caribbean nation pilots with annu­al tech­ni­cal assess­ments by the RCAF Cen­tral Fly­ing School (CFS) and with ongo­ing sup­port from DND’s Direc­torate of Mil­i­tary Train­ing and Coop­er­a­tion (DMTC), to devel­op the school’s broad­er poten­tial with the inclu­sion of air­craft tech­ni­cian training. 

JMAS trains mil­i­tary pilots from pri­ma­ry through to wings grad­u­a­tion on either heli­copter or fixed-wing air­craft. The train­ing fol­lows CF stan­dards. This pro­gram includes a can­di­date selec­tion mod­ule fol­lowed by a phased wings train­ing pro­gram that con­sists of: Pilot Selec­tion, Pri­ma­ry Fly­ing Train­ing and Advance Fly­ing Train­ing. JMAS is plan­ning to intro­duce Mul­ti-Engine train­ing in the future. All of the train­ing at JMAS fol­lows CF stan­dards and all flight instruc­tors at the school hold a CF flight instruc­tor rating. 

Caribbean Mil­i­tary Mar­itime Train­ing Cen­tre (CMMTC)

DND/CF has expand­ed its coop­er­a­tion with the JDF in the area of mar­itime train­ing, through the estab­lish­ment of the CMMTC in Jamaica. Like the JMAS, the CMMTC aims to build capac­i­ty in Jamaica for the region and there­by strength­en region­al security. 

The CMMTC was estab­lished through Canada’s Direc­torate of Mil­i­tary Train­ing and Coop­er­a­tion (DMTC). It pro­vides mil­i­tary mar­itime train­ing to both region­al and inter­na­tion­al Coast Guard organ­i­sa­tions and is a region­al train­ing estab­lish­ment from the onset seek­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of both stu­dents and instruc­tion­al staff from across the Caribbean and Cen­tral America. 

The first phase of the centre’s cur­ricu­lum, its annu­al Bridge Watch Keep­er train­ing, was launched in Sep­tem­ber 2011, and will fin­ish in August 2012. The train­ing will be made avail­able to oth­er coun­tries in the region through a mobile train­ing team com­prised of region­al instructors. 

Caribbean Counter-Ter­ror­ism Train­ing Cen­tre (CCTTC)

DND/CF fund­ed the con­struc­tion of and pro­vid­ed con­struc­tion sup­port to the Caribbean Counter-Ter­ror­ism Train­ing Cen­tre. The train­ing at the cen­tre is fund­ed through the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs and Inter­na­tion­al Trade’s (DFAIT) CTCBP, man­aged by DMTC and imple­ment­ed by CANSOFCOM

In March 2012, His Roy­al High­ness, Prince Har­ry, unveiled a Cana­di­an-fund­ed, 60-ft high rap­pel tow­er used for spe­cial­ized train­ing exer­cis­es at Up Park Camp. At the same facil­i­ty, Cana­da, through the CTCBP, has invest­ed in the con­struc­tion of a tac­ti­cal train­ing range and a firearms train­ing sim­u­la­tor. This sup­port builds on pre­vi­ous con­tri­bu­tions which have already helped the JDF respond to secu­ri­ty inci­dents — for exam­ple, when a Can­Jet Flight was hijacked in 2009 with more than 170 Cana­di­ans onboard, it was this Cana­di­an-trained team that suc­cess­ful­ly end­ed the hijack­ing with­out fir­ing a shot. 

Exer­cise Trop­i­cal Hammer

In 2007–2009, Exer­cise Trop­i­cal Ham­mer was joint­ly run by Cana­di­an Oper­a­tions Sup­port Com­mand (CANOSCOM) and DMTC in Jamaica, with CF engi­neers and CANOSCOM ele­ments work­ing with JDF engi­neers to enhance JDF infra­struc­tures as part of their pre-deploy­ment train­ing for Afghanistan. In addi­tion to a new Caribbean Junior Com­mand and Staff Course facil­i­ty, the engi­neers, work­ing along­side their JDF coun­ter­parts, pro­vid­ed new infra­struc­ture to the JMAS, and JDF Coast Guard. As a result of the exper­tise acquired dur­ing these exer­cis­es, the JDF deployed two engi­neer offi­cers to serve with the CF in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. 

Oper­a­tion Jaguar

Oper­a­tion Jaguar was Canada’s con­tri­bu­tion of mil­i­tary avi­a­tion and search-and-res­cue capa­bil­i­ty to sup­port the JDF, while pro­vid­ing essen­tial train­ing for CF search-and-res­cue teams. The air­craft and per­son­nel of Task Force Jamaica deployed in August 2011 and returned to Cana­da in late Novem­ber 2011 upon suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of their mission. 

Locat­ed at Up Park Camp, the JDF base in Kingston, Jamaica, Task Force Jamaica was respon­si­ble for fly­ing life-sav­ing mis­sions such as search-and-res­cue and med­ical evac­u­a­tion in sup­port of JDF oper­a­tions. Task Force Jamaica con­sist­ed of a detach­ment of three CH-146 Grif­fon util­i­ty tac­ti­cal trans­port heli­copters with air­crews and sup­port per­son­nel, includ­ing five search-and-res­cue teams, for a total of 65 CF mem­bers. The search-and-res­cue teams deployed with Task Force Jamaica also con­duct­ed train­ing activ­i­ties required to ensure the long-term avail­abil­i­ty of search-and-res­cue air­crew for oper­a­tions in Canada 

Oper­a­tion Hestia

Oper­a­tion Hes­tia was the CF par­tic­i­pa­tion in human­i­tar­i­an oper­a­tions con­duct­ed in response to the cat­a­stroph­ic earth­quake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in Jan­u­ary, 2010. On the invi­ta­tion of the Gov­ern­ment of Jamaica, Cana­da estab­lished an air bridge from Kingston, Jamaica, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, mov­ing per­son­nel and sup­plies into the region via 28 ded­i­cat­ed flights through the JMAS facil­i­ties at Nor­man Man­ley air­port in Kingston. 

Air­lift from Cana­da to Haiti, coor­di­nat­ed by CANOSCOM, was pro­vid­ed by the strate­gic air­lift squadrons of 8 Wing Tren­ton and civil­ian air­lifters under char­ter. Most car­go flights land­ed at Kingston, Jamaica, where their loads were trans­ferred to CC-130 Her­cules tac­ti­cal air­lifters for the flight into Haiti. 

In addi­tion to sup­port­ing Canada’s Oper­a­tion Hes­tia, and as part of the inter­na­tion­al community’s response to the earth­quake in Haiti, Jamaica also deployed 150 JDF troops to the coun­try along with oth­er gov­ern­ment depart­ment per­son­nel to assist in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and dis­as­ter response operations. 

Caribbean Junior Com­mand and Staff Course (CJCSC)

DND/CF fur­ther con­tributes to the devel­op­ment of polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary sta­bil­i­ty in the Caribbean by spon­sor­ing the CJCSC. CJCSC is a twen­ty-week course designed to increase the capac­i­ty of junior offi­cers of the JDF, and oth­er Caribbean nation Defence Forces to per­form com­mand and staff func­tions of a gen­er­al nature that are appro­pri­ate to their rank and to pro­vide the foun­da­tion for their sub­se­quent pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment. Par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries are mem­bers of or are spon­sored by the MTCP

To date, more than 300 young offi­cers of the Defence Forces and Police Con­stab­u­lar­ies of Antigua and Bar­bu­da, Bar­ba­dos, Belize, Bermu­da, Cana­da, Domini­can Repub­lic, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Toba­go, and the U.S. have grad­u­at­ed from the 16 seri­als of this pres­ti­gious course. CJCSC con­ducts one ser­i­al per year; the next will begin in Feb­ru­ary 2013. 

Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence, Canada 

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