Today > History

Photo of a Canadian soldier, circa the 1970s.
Peacekeeping 1945 - Present

Since WW2, the Canadian Forces have sent Gunners on at least 33 deployments around the world.

In 1956, Lester B. Pearson advanced Canada's international role in peacekeeping. During the Suez Crisis, Canada sent troops to stabilize the region. Pearson helped create the UN Emergency Force (UNEF). Pearson won a Noble Peace Prize for his efforts.

Over 25,000 Canadians completed six-month UNEF tours of Cyprus from 1964 to 1993. Since 1974, over 12,000 Canadians served in the Golan Heights in occupied Syria. From 1948-1988, Canadians represented 10% of UN peacekeepers or 80,000 personnel.

After the Cold War, the Canadian Forces focused on peacekeeping and peacemaking. In 1993, Canada sent 1 RCHA to Yugoslavia with 81mm mortars. They fired illumination rounds as a deterrent.

Since 1947, over 125,000 Canadians have served in UN missions. A total of 130 Canadians lost their lives.


Operations in Afghanistan 2001-2014

On 11 September 2001, terrorists launched a series of attacks on the United States. On 7 October 2001, the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan.

After the fall of the Taliban government, the UN authorized a NATO-led force. In 2002, Canada committed a battle group to fight in Afghanistan. CF troops patrolled Kabul and helped rebuild the Afghan Army. Canadian Infantry, Artillery and Armour took part in ground operations.

In February 2006, Gunners used the M-777 light 155mm howitzer. Canadians were the first to use the M777 in combat. The Canadian combat role in Afghanistan ended in 2011, and the majority of Canadian troops exited Afghanistan. The remaining soldiers focused on retraining the Afghan Army and police force.

More than forty thousand CF members served from 2001 to 2014. In total, 158 Canadian soldiers died, including nine Gunners.


The Royal Regiment – Present Day

Today, the Royal Regiment has Regular Force and Reserve Force units. The Canadian Army calls the Regular Force units the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, RCHA, and the Reserve Force units the Field Artillery Regiments, RCA.

The Regular Force has five units, including four operational regiments and one artillery school. The four front line regiments include 1 RCHA in Shilo, 2 RCHA in Petawawa, 4 RCA (General Support) in Gagetown, and 5 RALC in Valcartier.

The Royal Artillery has Reserve Force units in communities across Canada. The Captain General of the Royal Regiment is the reigning Sovereign. The Colonel Commandant is the honourary head of the Royal Regiment.

The Senior Serving Gunner is the highest-ranking Artillery General Officer. The Regimental Colonel provides leadership for lines of operation. The Commander Home Station (Base Commander) helps to maintain the traditions and history of the Regiment.

Photo Credit - Bombardier A. Nicholson, RCA.