Somalia Medal The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia
A Soldier's Journals
Tuesday, September 28, 2021  

Somalia '93



In the beginning of September, 1992, the Canadian Airborne Regiment was tasked to participate in the United Nations Operation in Somalia UNOSOM, called OP Cordon. The force would be 750 strong and participate in peacekeeping operations based in the Northern Somali port of Bossasso.

As the Airborne Regiment prepared to deploy to Northern Somalia, the situation in the south deteriorated rapidly with aid shipments being attacked and looted. Aid agencies pleaded with the UN to send in troops to stabilize the situation. At the end of November, the United States offered to send as many as 30,000 troops into Somalia.

Meanwhile, John Watson, the executive director of Care Canada sent a letter to Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulruney asking that the Airborne be sent to the more heavily populated south where gangs had beendisrupting relief operations. Watson said in the letterthat the Federal Government is afraid of the political backlash if Canadian Troops become involved in fighting. He went on to say that, "Canada is going to have to assign troops to a place where they would have to fight and kill people."

On 3 December 1992, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 794 which under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, authorized the Secretary-General and Member States "to use all necessary means to establish as soon as possible a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia."

When the Canadian government decided to participate in the peace enforcement mission, the size of the force being deployed to Somalia was increased to 1250 to increase its combat power. The Airborne Regiment was augmented with a mortar platoon from the 1st Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, a squadron from 2 Canadian Engineer Regiment and an armoured squadron from the Royal Canadian Dragoons. The augmented Airborne regiment was designated the Canadian Airborne Regiment Battle Group (Cdn AB Regt BG) and formed the largest part of the Canadian Joint Forces Somalia (CJTFS.) The mission of the CJTFS was to join the multinational Unified Task Force (UNITAF) in creating a secure environment for relief operations in Somalia. This mission was named OP Deliverance.

On 13 December, the first troops from the battle group, 2 Commando, flew into Baledogle to secure the airbase there. On December 28, the remainder of the battle group began arriving in Mogadishu. Meanwhile, 2 Commando, along with elements of the US 10 Mountain Division and the US Special Forces secured the airfield at Beled Weyne.

Beginning on 29 December, the remainder of the AB Regt BG began flying from Mogadishu to Beled Weyne and relieving the US forces guarding the airstrip there.

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