Jamaican Tactical Team Trained by Canadian Special Operators
OTTAWA-Canadian special forces from Petawawa helped train the Jamaican team that stormed a hijacked airliner in Montego Bay on Monday and captured a mentally troubled gunman without firing a shot.
The Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) has had a small team in Jamaica over the last several months conducting training as part of a joint counter-terrorism program with that country.
The Jamaica Defence Force assault team that stormed the CanJet Boeing 737 were trained by the Canadians, but CSOR members did not take part in the raid.
“CSOR had a hand in training the assault team,” confirmed Lt.-Cmdr. Walter Moniz, the spokesman for Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in Ottawa.
CSOR members have been training the Jamaica Defence Force’s counter-terrorism unit in various techniques.
“It’s not a large team, but we’ve got some good senior guys doing what we refer to as DDMA or Defence Diplomacy and Military Assistance,” Moniz added.
“The members themselves don’t actually go with them to conduct (operations),” Lt.-Cmdr. Walter Moniz added.
It is unclear whether CSOR operators were in Jamaica at the time of the raid. Training teams have been travelling back and forth between Jamaica and CFB Petawawa.
The six crew members on the aircraft were rescued at around 6:40 a.m., when a unit from the Jamaica Defence Force Counter Terrorism Operations Group stormed aboard. In a statement, Jamaican officials said the team “entered the cabin of the aircraft and effected a tactical resolution authorized by the incident commander, and in the process disarmed and arrested the gunman, who has been identified as Stephen Fray from a Montego Bay address, while rescuing the other hostages on board.”
Jamaica’s information minister, Daryl Vaz, called the raid “a clean operation.”
Funding for the CSOR training team in Jamaica came from the Foreign Affairs Department’s counter-terrorism capability building program.
Last year, Canadian Special Operations Forces’ commander Col. Mike Day outlined what he called high-value tasks for his various units. Among those was defence, diplomacy, and military assistance which, according to Day “refers to operations that contribute to nation-building through assistance to select states through the provision of specialized military advice, training and assistance.”
CSOR was formed in 2006 to provide support to the military’s special forces and counter-terrorism unit, Joint Task Force 2, as well as conduct its own special operations missions. Some of its members are also serving in Afghanistan.
The regiment is interoperable with JTF2 and with U.S., British, Australian and allied special forces.
According to the Canadian Forces, CSOR is composed of three direct action companies and a support company. Members are also drawn from the navy and air force, but most are from the army.
CSOR has equipment and training similar to JTF2. Military officers say it is important the two units are interoperable since the regiment will be used at times to provide combat support for JTF2.
CSOR was part of a significant expansion in 2006 of Canada’s special forces capabilities. That year Canadian Special Operations Forces Command was created to oversee JTF2, CSOR, the 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron at Petawawa and the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit at Trenton.
Canadian Special Operations Regiment webpages: http://www.csor.forces.gc.ca/index-eng.asp
CSOR Basic Qualification Course video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5739504309197670530
Jamaica Defense Forces website: http://www.jdfmil.org/