Canadian Armed Forces to deploy three CH-146 Griffon helicopters to the Philippines

News Release / November 16, 2013 / Project number: NR 13.344

OTTAWA – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, today announced the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will deploy three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and aircrew to further support the Government of Canada’s humanitarian assistance and relief efforts in the Philippines.

Two of the three aircraft are scheduled to deploy tomorrow from Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton aboard a CC-177 Globemaster III.

The Government of Canada and all Canadians are committed to helping relief and stabilization efforts in the Philippines,” said Minister Nicholson. “These helicopters will provide the Disaster Assistance Response Team with additional means to reach and help those who desperately need our assistance.

The Royal Canadian Air Force crews that will fly the CH-146 during Operation RENAISSANCE are based out of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, located at CFB Edmonton. The airframes will come from Canadian Forces Base Valcartier in Quebec and Canadian Forces Base Borden in Ontario. The Griffon’s primary role is tactical transportation of personnel, equipment and material. The Griffon helicopter can be used in a number of roles such as providing tactical airlift to soldiers, rescuing civilians in remote areas of the world and providing support during natural disasters. Other roles are search and rescue (SAR) missions, surveillance and reconnaissance, casualty evacuation and counter-drug operations.

The Griffon helicopter has also played a key role in many national and international humanitarian relief operations, including Manitoba’s Red River flood in 1997 (Operation ASSISTANCE) and in 2011 (Op FORGE); Eastern Canada’s ice storm in 1998 (Operation RECUPERATION); the United Nations effort to stabilize Haiti in 2004 (Operation HALO); and again in response to the catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-aux-Prince in January 2010 (Op HESTIA). Most recently, the Griffon helicopters deployed on Operation JAGUAR in 2011, as Canada’s contribution of military aviation and search-and-rescue capability to support the Jamaica Defence Force.

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Note to Editors:        

For more information on the CH-146 Griffon, visit the Royal Canadian Air Force site.

Video B-roll and still imagery of previous Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) preparing to deploy is available for media download at the following sites: