ARCHIVED - The Canadian Forces Complete Flood Mitigation Operation In Manitoba

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News Release / May 27, 2011 / Project number: NR11.048

OTTAWA – Operation Lustre, the Canadian Forces flood-mitigation operation in support of the Province of Manitoba, which began on May 9th, drew to a close yesterday when the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, was informed by the Province of Manitoba that the Canadian Forces had accomplished all of their tasks.

At its peak, Operation Lustre involved more than 1,800 Regular and Reserve Force personnel from the Navy, Army, and Air Force, who assisted Provincial authorities in preventing and mitigating damage caused by the flooding of the Assiniboine River. 

Tasks completed by the CF include: extensive repairs to both the Assiniboine River dikes and the Assiniboine Diversion dikes, dike monitoring on the ground and from the air, assistance to civil authorities with the voluntary evacuation of affected residents, producing more than 167,000 sandbags and emplacing more that 48% of the total of   891,000 sandbags produced in the Province. More than 160 private residences were protected from flooding as a result of CF efforts.

"From coast-to-coast, the men and women of the Canadian Forces have proven they are ready and willing to assist Canadians in times of crisis, and I’m very proud of their efforts to protect the people of Manitoba and their property from the flooded Assiniboine River," said Minister MacKay. "The Canadian Forces are always ready to answer the call to protect Canada and Canadians, whether at home or abroad."

The Province of Manitoba will continue its important work to contain higher than normal water levels along major lakes using existing provincial resources. 

"Following a request from the Government of Manitoba, the Canadian Forces moved quickly to assist provincial and local authorities deal with flooding on the Assiniboine River," said the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba. "We are grateful to have had help with flood protection measures, and thank the CF for contributing their unique expertise and capabilities to this effort."

“The CF is always ready to provide its unique capabilities in service of our fellow Canadians in their times of need. As part of Canada Command, Joint Task Force West was given the mandate to plan and execute this operation. I want to congratulate all who were involved in this important relief operation. Canada Command constantly monitors situations that may affect Canadians at home and relies on a large force of high readiness personnel and equipment to provide the necessary assistance in coordination with our federal and provincial partners,” said Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, Commander of Canada Command.

CF assets deployed during Op Lustre included:

  • Approximately 130 Navy personnel, primarily Naval Reservists from across Canada, with a dozen small boats and including a Port Inspection Dive Team;
  • 70 Air Force personnel;
  • 200 Army Reserve personnel from 38 Canadian Brigade Group (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North-Western Ontario);
  • 1,400 Regular Army personnel from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and 1 Area Support Group based at CFB Shilo, Man. and CFB Edmonton;
  • Six CH-146 Griffon helicopters, from 408 “Goose” and 400 “City of Toronto” Tactical Helicopter Squadrons in Edmonton, and Borden, Ont., respectively;
  • One CH-146 Search and Rescue Griffon Helicopter from 424 “Tiger” Transport and Rescue Squadron, 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.; and
  • One CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft from 407 “Demon” Maritime Patrol Squadron, 19 Wing Comox, BC.

“We were impressed by the skill and knowledge of the provincial and municipal officials that we worked with. Their knowledge, skills and experience, which they willingly shared with us, greatly improved the effectiveness of the Canadian Forces efforts. We were able to work together with a strong team of experts and together we have been able to help improve the situation in Southern Manitoba,” said Brig.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk, Commander, Joint Task Force West, who led Operation Lustre in Manitoba. “The greatest privilege that any Canadian Forces member has is to serve his or her fellow Canadians here at home.”


Notes to editor / news director: Imagery of Operation Lustre, the Whole-of-Government response to Flooding of the Assiniboine River in Manitoba, can be found at:

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