New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary


OTTAWA — Canada’s contribution to the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation is being commemorated in a new video released on the 30th anniversary of the start of what is now known as the first Gulf War.

The video was produced by Historica Canada and tells the story of Canada’s wartime experience during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm through the voices of some of the thousands of Canadian troops who served at the time.

Those include Richard Austin, a petty officer who was serving on board HMCS Athabaskan when the Canadian destroyer traversed an Iraqi minefield to rescue a damaged American warship.

Veterans Affairs Canada says more than 4,000 Canadian military personnel served in the war, which started after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, prompting a major international response led by the U.S.

That included a build up of forces during the phase known as Operation Desert Shield before the eventual assault known as Operation Desert Storm was launched on Jan. 17, 1991.

Historica Canada CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith says the historical society wanted to shed light on the little-known chapter in Canada’s military history, which has been largely overlooked in the subsequent decades.