Andrew Burtch


In the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Libya and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s intervention that overturned Muammar Gaddafi’s government amid fears of reprisals against civilians, Canada and other countries re-established a diplomatic presence. The region was still unstable with many competing militias in a tentative truce following Gaddafi’s downfall. Canada’s embassy required a military presence to secure the compound and the safety of Canadian VIPs. In July 2014, the men and women of Operation LOBE were forced to evacuate from Libya amid a diplomatic exodus during a resurgence of civil war. This piece, based largely on a Canadian War Museum oral history interview with Op LOBE’s Roto 6 Task Force Commander Major Doug Henderson, revisits the mission’s purpose, its deployment, the challenges faced in country and the successful evacuation of Canadian personnel to Tunisia in the summer of 2014.1