Joint Task Force 2
Overview
 
Joint Task Force 2 (French
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

: Deuxième Force opérationnelle interarmées) is an elite Special Operations Force of the Canadian Armed Forces primarily tasked with counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 operations. JTF2 together with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment
Canadian Special Operations Regiment
The Canadian Special Operations Regiment is a battalion-sized, high-readiness special operations unit part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command...

 (CSOR), 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS), and the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) form the operational elements of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command , is a command of the Canadian Forces...

.

Much of the information regarding Joint Task Force 2 is highly classified, and is not commented on by either the Government of Canada or the Department of National Defence
Department of National Defence (Canada)
The Department of National Defence , frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for all matters concerning the defence of Canada...

 on the unit's capabilities, organization, and operational missions.
In 1992, Deputy Minister of Defence Robert Fowler
Robert Fowler (diplomat)
Robert R. Fowler is a Canadian diplomat and the special envoy of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Niger since mid-2008, to find solution to the conflict in Agadez region....

 announced he was recommending to Governor General
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 Ray Hnatyshyn
Ray Hnatyshyn
Ramon John Hnatyshyn , commonly known as Ray Hnatyshyn, was a Canadian politician and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 24th since Canadian Confederation....

 that he disband the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

's Special Emergency Response Team
Special Emergency Response Team
The Special Emergency Response Team was the RCMP counter-terrorism unit which existed until 1993. Its duties were then taken by the Canadian Forces in the form of Joint Task Force Two....

 (SERT) and create a new military counter-terrorism group.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Joint Task Force 2 (French
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

: Deuxième Force opérationnelle interarmées) is an elite Special Operations Force of the Canadian Armed Forces primarily tasked with counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 operations. JTF2 together with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment
Canadian Special Operations Regiment
The Canadian Special Operations Regiment is a battalion-sized, high-readiness special operations unit part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command...

 (CSOR), 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS), and the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) form the operational elements of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command , is a command of the Canadian Forces...

.

Much of the information regarding Joint Task Force 2 is highly classified, and is not commented on by either the Government of Canada or the Department of National Defence
Department of National Defence (Canada)
The Department of National Defence , frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for all matters concerning the defence of Canada...

 on the unit's capabilities, organization, and operational missions.

History

In 1992, Deputy Minister of Defence Robert Fowler
Robert Fowler (diplomat)
Robert R. Fowler is a Canadian diplomat and the special envoy of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Niger since mid-2008, to find solution to the conflict in Agadez region....

 announced he was recommending to Governor General
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 Ray Hnatyshyn
Ray Hnatyshyn
Ramon John Hnatyshyn , commonly known as Ray Hnatyshyn, was a Canadian politician and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 24th since Canadian Confederation....

 that he disband the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

's Special Emergency Response Team
Special Emergency Response Team
The Special Emergency Response Team was the RCMP counter-terrorism unit which existed until 1993. Its duties were then taken by the Canadian Forces in the form of Joint Task Force Two....

 (SERT) and create a new military counter-terrorism group. The decision was made largely because the Canadian Forces offered better-trained recruits for the program than civilian police forces, and it stemmed the public uproar about police being taught to use primarily lethal means.

In early 1993, the unit was activated with just over 100 members, primarily drawn from the Canadian Airborne Regiment
The Canadian Airborne Regiment
The Canadian Airborne Regiment was a Canadian Forces formation created on April 8, 1968. It was not an administrative regiment in the commonly accepted British Commonwealth sense, but rather a tactical formation manned from other regiments and branches...

 and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is one of the three regular force infantry regiments of the Canadian Army. The regiment is composed of four battalions including a primary reserve battalion, for a total of 2,000 soldiers...

. They were given the SERT facility on Dwyer Hill Road
Dwyer Hill Road
Dwyer Hill Road is the longest road within the municipal jurisdiction of the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.The road runs parallel to the city's western border at a distance of about 3-4 kilometres from it. The road runs from the community of Burritts Rapids on the Rideau River north to the...

 in Ottawa as their own base of operations, and permanently parked a Greyhound
Greyhound
The Greyhound is a breed of sighthound that has been primarily bred for coursing game and racing, and the breed has also recently seen a resurgence in its popularity as a pedigree show dog and family pet. It is a gentle and intelligent breed...

 bus and a DC-9 aircraft on the grounds for use in training.
Its first scheduled action was Operation Campus, the protection of highways and water treatment plants around the Oka
Oka, Quebec
-References:...

 reserve while a police force tried to "crack down on smuggling" on the native reserve, immediately following the Oka crisis
Oka Crisis
The Oka Crisis was a land dispute between a group of Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada which began on July 11, 1990 and lasted until September 26, 1990. At least one person died as a result...

. However two daily newspapers in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 revealed the operation just days before it was to go into action, and it was cancelled.

The federal budget of December 2001 allocated approximately $120 million over six years to expand unit capabilities and double its size to an estimated 600 personnel, as part of the overall plan following the attacks of 11 September 2001.

Bosnia

JTF2 forces were inserted into Bosnia, operating in two-man teams hunting for Serbian snipers who were targeting UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 forces at the sniper alley
Sniper Alley
"Sniper Alley" was the informal name primarily for Ulica Zmaja od Bosne , the main boulevard in Sarajevo which during the Bosnian War was lined with snipers' posts, and became infamous as a dangerous place for civilians to traverse...

. They were scheduled to free approximately 55 hostages in Operation Freedom 55, but again the mission was cancelled as the Bosnian Serbs released all the prisoners voluntarily.

Afghanistan: 2001–present

Approximately 40 JTF2 Assaulters were sent to southern Afghanistan in early December 2001, although the Canadian public was not informed of the deployment, following the American declaration of a War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

. However, in Sean M. Maloney's book Enduring the Freedom, it was reported that JTF2 was secretly deployed without Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

's permission in early October 2001.

Several months later, the Globe and Mail published an image on its front page showing operatives in distinctive forest-green Canadian Forces combat uniforms delivering captured prisoners to the Americans. This prompted an outcry in Parliament as MPs were never informed these operations were underway. Vice Admiral Greg Maddison was called before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
The Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is a standing committee composed of the four political parties of the Government of Canada that is responsible for the procedural and administrative matters relating to the Canadian House of Commons. It has 12 members,...

 to address claims that Minister of Defence Art Eggleton
Art Eggleton
Arthur "Art" C. Eggleton, PC is a former Canadian Cabinet minister and Mayor of Toronto, and is currently a Senator representing Ontario.-City council:...

 had purposely misled the public and the government, even failing to inform the Prime Minister that JTF2 had been operating in Afghanistan.

In 2004, an estimated 40 members of JTF2 serving with Task Force KBAR were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by the U.S. government for service in Afghanistan. While serving with Task Force K-Bar, commander Rear Admiral Robert Harward
Robert Harward
Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Jr. is a Navy SEAL and the current deputy commander of United States Central Command. He served as the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and previously commanded Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435....

 stated that his JTF2 team was his first choice for any direct action missions, yet Harward had eight other countries' special forces units to choose from, even his own SEALs. Very little is known on JTF2 operations in Afghanistan, but during a conference the former Chief of Defence Staff
Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the second most senior member of the Canadian Forces, and heads the Armed Forces Council, having primary responsibility for command, control, and administration of the forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements...

, General Rick Hillier
Rick Hillier
General Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD , is the former Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces. He held this appointment from February 4, 2005 to July 1, 2008. He retired on July 1, 2008, and was replaced by former Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk...

, stated that JTF2 is in "high demand" and that they are considered to be "world class." He went on to say that the unit is providing direct support to the Afghanistan government and is targeting the Taliban leadership in southern Afghanistan. He stated that "trying to help neutralize those leaders is a key part of their role and that's what they will continue to do."

Haiti

In 1996, JTF2 deployed to Haiti to advise the security forces of President René Préval
René Préval
René Garcia Préval is a Haitian politician and agronomist who was the President of the Republic of Haiti from 14 May 2006 to 14 May 2011. He previously served as President from February 7, 1996, to February 7, 2001, and as Prime Minister from February 1991 to October 11, 1991.-Early life and...

 on methods to repel the revolutionary army, train local SWAT
SWAT
A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

 teams and raid weapons smugglers in Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

, JTF2 was also in Haiti at the time that Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian former Catholic priest and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies...

 was ousted from power in 2004. They protected the Canadian embassy and secured the airport.

Iraq 2006

On 23 March 2006, The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 and the British Foreign Office both commented on the instrumental role JTF2 played in rescuing the British and Canadian Christian Peacemaker Team
2005-2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis
The Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis involved four human rights workers of Christian Peacemaker Teams who were held hostage in Iraq from November 26, 2005 by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade...

 that were being held hostage in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Involvement of JTF2 was not confirmed by Canadian officials.

Other actions

There has been much speculation in the Canadian media on possible JTF2 operational deployments. As of 2001, the unit had 297 members, but by the end of the year, with the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 becoming a reality, the federal government announced their intentions to increase it to 600 members within four years.

Vice-Admiral P. Dean McFadden
P. Dean McFadden
Vice-Admiral P. Dean McFadden, CMM, CD is an officer in the Canadian Forces. He was Chief of the Maritime Staff from 2009 to 2011....

 also confirmed that JTF2 would take a role in securing the 2010 Winter Olympics
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

 and 2010 Winter Paralympics
2010 Winter Paralympics
The 2010 Winter Paralympics, officially the X Paralympic Winter Games, or the 10th Winter Paralympics, were held in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, Canada from March 12 to 21, 2010. The Opening Ceremony took place in BC Place Stadium in Vancouver and the Closing Ceremony in Whistler...

.

JTF2 has also acted as bodyguards to Canadians travelling abroad, notably accompanying Lieutenant General Maurice Baril
Maurice Baril
Joseph Gérard Maurice Baril, CMM, MSM, CD is a retired General officer in the Canadian Forces, a Military Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General & head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations from 1992 to 1997, and Chief of the Defence...

 and Raymond Chrétien
Raymond Chrétien
Raymond Chrétien, OC is the nephew of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and was an ambassador from Canada:* France 2000–2003* United States 1994–2000* Belgium 1991–1994* Mexico 1985–1988* Congo 1978–1981...

 to Zaire in November 1996. When photographs provided to the media were revealed to show the faces of JTF2 forces, they were redacted and reissued with the faces removed. In 1998, they accompanied General Romeo Dallaire
Roméo Dallaire
Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire, is a Canadian senator, humanitarian, author and retired general...

 to Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 where he was due to testify against a Rwandan Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 official accused of complicity in the 1994 genocide. They similarly accompanied war crimes prosecutor Louise Arbour
Louise Arbour
Louise Arbour, is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda...

 into Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

. In early November 2000, Conservative Defence Critic David Price stated that JTF2 had been deployed to Kosovo, however, this was denied by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 and Defence Minister Art Eggleton
Art Eggleton
Arthur "Art" C. Eggleton, PC is a former Canadian Cabinet minister and Mayor of Toronto, and is currently a Senator representing Ontario.-City council:...

.

In his book Enduring the Freedom, Sean M. Maloney reported that during operations in Afghanistan, Canada's JTF2 was the only foreign unit accepted to join American Tier 1 special operations units, such as 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force
Delta Force
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta Force, Delta, or The Unit, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense...

) and DEVGRU
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

 in Task Force 11
Task Force 11
-World War II:During World War II, Task Force 11 was a United States Navy aircraft carrier task force in the Pacific theater.TF 11 was originally formed around , then her sister ship until she was disabled by a Japanese torpedo in January 1942, then Lexington again for the Battle of the Coral...

 whose job it was to hunt high value al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 and Taliban personnel and to conduct sensitive site exploitation. Maloney also reported that DEVGRU
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

 adopted JTF2's 'kill house' design previous to the Afghanistan deployment.

The unit was believed to be operating with the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 and Special Boat Service
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

 in Operation Mobile
Operation Mobile
Operation Mobile was the name given to Canadian Forces activities in the 2011 military intervention in Libya. The United States' counterpart to this was Operation Odyssey Dawn, the French counterpart was Opération Harmattan and the British counterpart was Operation Ellamy...

, the Canadian operation in the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

.

Unit accountability

On 21 December 2006, a Federal Court judge rejected a request to proceed with a court martial against an unnamed JTF2 officer, accused of assaulting and mistreating a subordinate, because court martial requests require that the accused be named. The judge suggested that they explore other avenues to proceed with the court martial.

JTF2 has acknowledged the death of one member. Master Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer, 25, died on April 18, 2007, after falling off a communications tower in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

In 2010 the investigation into Anthony’s death was completed, and revealed that he had been knocked unconscious by a surge of electricity of unknown origin.

Equipment


Weapons
  • Colt Canada C7, C8, C8SFW series of rifles
  • FN Herstal P90
    FN P90
    The FN P90 is a selective fire personal defense weapon designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. The P90's name is taken from 1990, the year it was introduced...

     personal defence weapon
  • Heckler & Koch
    Heckler & Koch
    Heckler & Koch GmbH is a German defense manufacturing company that produces various small arms. Some of their products include the SA80, MP5 submachine gun, G3 automatic rifle, the G36 assault rifle, the HK 416, the MP7 personal defense weapon, the USP series of handguns, and the high-precision...

     MP5A3 sub machine guns
  • SIG Sauer pistols

Vehicles
  • Jackal MWMIK armoured personnel carrier

See also

  • 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron
  • Canadian Airborne Regiment
  • Canadian armed forces divers
    Canadian armed forces divers
    Canadian Forces diving is performed by units of the maritime, land, and air environmental commands , the Experimental Diving and Undersea Group , and Special Operations Forces...

  • Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit
  • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
    Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
    Canadian Special Operations Forces Command , is a command of the Canadian Forces...

  • Canadian Special Operations Regiment
    Canadian Special Operations Regiment
    The Canadian Special Operations Regiment is a battalion-sized, high-readiness special operations unit part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command...

  • Devil's Brigade
    Devil's Brigade
    The Devil's Brigade , was a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit organized in 1942 and trained at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States...

  • Emergency Response Team, the RCMP
    Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

     branch dedicated to paramilitary operations.
  • Joint Task Force (North) or JTF(N)

External links

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