By Jensen, Randy on July 6, 2020.
Since December many members of the Canadian Armed Forces have made their way to the Middle East on Operation IMPACT, Canada’s training and capacity-building mission, and Lethbridge’s Master Corporal (MCpl) Robert Gordon was deployed on that mission.
The mission officially launched in 2014 as part of Canada’s contribution to the fight against Daesh, also known as ISIS. In recent years, Operation IMPACT has shifted toward building relationships and helping build their partners’ capabilities in several countries including Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. By helping their partners, the Canadian Armed Forces are continuing to contribute to stability in the Middle East.
“For my first deployment, this was a great opportunity to test my knowledge and increase my skills,” says Gordon.
As a financial service clerk, Gordon tracks budgets and helps deploy personnel with their financial administration, such as claims and travel reimbursements. He is also a member of the auxiliary force that provides security in Kuwait, where the mission is headquartered.
The mission’s training activities needed to be paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the instability in Iraq, which led to some Canadian Armed Forces personnel returning home sooner than expected. Gordon was the only member of his team in Kuwait for a couple weeks in February, when COVID started to create a challenge in moving deployed personnel.
“We had to cancel the flights we had booked on civilian airlines, and it was a lot of work to figure out how to move people in or out of Kuwait,” says Gordon. “Things can change at a moment’s notice, and we just have to adapt and get the job done.”
Gordon was looking for new experiences and challenges when he joined the Army Reserve in 2013, as he was inspired to join by his grandfather who served in the military during the Second World War.
Gordon, who serves with the 20th Independent Field Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery, is scheduled to return to Lethbridge this month.
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