Cal-Cheak, British Columbia — Approximately 4,500 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel are on deployment to British Columbia under Operation PODIUM.
The Integrated Security Unit (ISU), led by the RCMP, is responsible for all security operations during the games. The unit is comprised of personnel from the RCMP, CF and 118 other police departments from across Canada. Even though the security is led by the RCMP, the military will still follow its chain of command. Given that this is a sporting event, the CF support will be as discreet as possible.
“We are in this together,” said RCMP Superintendent Tim Makin. “It’s a joint team that works together to provide protection of the venues to provide safe games for the athletes coming here to Whistler.”
Army, Navy, Air Force support
The Navy will be an invaluable resource for the RCMP by conducting maritime surveillance, patrols, port security and diving ops along Vancouver’s vast coastline.
The Air Force will also be a major player, using fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters to conduct surveillance, search and rescue, and mobility support to the RCMP during the operation.
Army deploys to several locations
“The companies themselves that are in Task Force Vancouver and Whistler are deployed on about three key locations that the RCMP have asked us to support,” said Col Andre Corbould, Commander, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.
“We also have a service battalion providing resupply and support to the forward company locations and task forces, as well as a centrally located tactical reserve to react to any unforeseen circumstances,” Col Corbould added.
This is not the first time the CF has been involved with the Olympics. Troops were also involved with the Montreal Olympics in 1976 as well as the Calgary Olympics in 1988.
Article and photos by Cpl Ryan Crawford, Army News, Edmonton.