Operations Update – June 2018

Attention: This page is updated on a monthly basis

Please note that this page is updated on a monthly basis. The information below was last updated on June 7, 2018.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations monthly update is designed to give a current overview of ongoing CAF missions in Canada, North America, and around the world. Every month, the narrative highlights recent developments on ongoing missions, and recaps completed events and initiatives.

Search and Rescue (SAR) | Across Canada

The three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres tasked CAF assets 56 times to conduct SAR operations during the month of March.


  • On May 18, 2018, the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CC-115 Buffalo airplane and a CH-149 Cormorant to search for an aircraft that had crashed near the Yukon and B.C. border. The Buffalo arrived on scene after dark and released illumination flares. Two SAR Technicians parachuted to the crash site. They located, assessed, stabilized, and prepared the patient for transport. The Cormorant then flew the patient to Fort Nelson and transferred them to emergency health services for ongoing care.   
  • On May 9, 2018, the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre issued a call for assets to respond to a vessel in distress. Naval Reserve Division sailors from HMCS Queen Charlotte were conducting small boat training in the area. They promptly responded and recovered six people from the water, and an additional nine people who were clinging to the overturned craft. All 15 people were transported to shore.
  • On May 8, 2018, the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CC-130 Hercules and a CH-146 Griffon to search for a missing aircraft. The aircraft’s wheel had fallen though the ice on Lansdowne Lake in northern Saskatchewan. The Hercules dropped a radio to maintain contact with the three individuals. They cleared an area for the Griffon to land and were brought to Buffalo Narrows, SK.

In Canada, search and rescue is a shared responsibility between government, military, volunteer, academic, and industry groups. The CAF’s main responsibility is providing SAR from the air. It also coordinates the national response for air, ground and maritime SAR. 

Operation LENTUS | Across Canada

Operation LENTUS is the CAF response to natural disasters in Canada. The CAF supports provincial and territorial authorities to respond to the crisis and stabilize the situation.

Kashechewan, Ontario

On April 26, 2018, the CAF deployed members of 3 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group to help the Province of Ontario at the Kashechewan First Nation. The province thought there would be flooding along the Albany River.

The Rangers evacuated residents and monitored river levels in the area. On May 7, 2018, the CAF sent a CH-146 Griffon helicopter and a CC-130J Hercules aircraft to Kashechewan. The CAF evacuated approximately 100 people.

New Brunswick

On May 11, 2018, the CAF deployed approximately 60 members to help the Province of New Brunswick respond to floods. The CAF members were from 4 Engineer Support Regiment from 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.

From May 11 to 15, 2018, they helped the province to assess the floods, as well as plan and coordinate relief efforts. Ten Critical Infrastructure Assessment Teams helped the province to assess 2 bridges, 130 damaged areas, and 350 kilometres of transport routes. CAF members also checked 100 homes to ensure that they could be accessed for Fire Marshall health and safety inspections.

British Columbia

On May 16, 2018, the Province of British Columbia requested help from the Government of Canada after severe flooding. From May 16 to 26, 2018, the CAF helped British Columbia with flood relief.

The CAF deployed over 350 troops. The majority of troops were from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade in Edmonton. They were set up in Vernon, BC, and their efforts were focused in the Okanagan area.

During the operation, CAF members filled 50 000 sandbags and put 80 500 in place. They also reinforced and constructed dykes, and installed 750 metres of aqua dams and 50 metres of protective Hesco barrier.


On May 23, 2018, the CAF was requested to assist with the evacuation of residents from the Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nation communities due to an out of control wildfire.

The CAF sent a CH-147F Chinook helicopter, a CC-130H Hercules aircraft, and a CC-130J Hercules to assist with the evacuation. Over the course of two days, the CAF evacuated approximately 140 people.

Operation CADENCE | Quebec

The CAF is supporting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) security effort for the G7 Summit. The summit is taking place in Quebec’s Charlevoix region from June 8 to 9, 2018.

The CAF is supporting the RCMP with planning. The CAF will also conduct air transportation and monitor the air, sea, and land in the region. Further, the CAF will support the security of the restricted airspace through NORAD.

Operation CADENCE includes over 2 000 sailors, soldiers, and aviators. This includes both Reservists and Regular Force members who are mostly from units located in the Province of Quebec.

Exercise TRADEWINDS | Caribbean

CAF members are participating in Exercise TRADEWINDS from June 4 to 21, 2018. The exercise includes participants from 22 nations and key regional organizations. It is taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Bahamas.

The CAF is participating on the land and at sea. In total, the CAF is sending about 80 soldiers and sailors. These include Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Shawinigan, a dive team from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic), mentors from the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, and a joint CAF and Global Affairs Canada disaster assessment team.

Exercise TRADEWINDS is a training event in the Caribbean led by the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). The exercise brings together defence and security partners from different countries to improve security in the region.

Operation OPEN SPIRIT | Estonia

A small team CAF clearance divers and support staff took part in Operation OPEN SPIRIT 2018. The focus of the operation was to dispose of sea mines and ammunition remaining on the seabed from the First World War and the Second World War. They operated in Estonia from May 11 to 24, 2018.

These CAF members came from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This year, the operation was led by the Estonian Navy. It included NATO allies from 12 countries including Canada.

During Operation OPEN SPIRIT 2018, CAF clearance divers dove 27 times for a total of 27 hours. They identified 218 mine-like contacts and 48 mine anchors in the Baltic Sea. The CAF countermined 4 mines.

Operation PROJECTION | Global

HMCS Vancouver visited two ports during the month of May: the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from May 3 to 9, 2018, and Singapore from May 16 to 23, 2018. The visits supported Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region. In both ports, Canadian sailors interacted with civilians and local counterparts to promote cooperation and friendship. They also participated in outreach activities such as ship tours, school visits, and charity events.

HMCS Windsor periodically supported NATO’s Operation SEA GUARDIAN between late February and early June 2018. This operation builds a comprehensive picture of daily activities along the shipping routes in the international waters of the Mediterranean. Operation SEA GUARDIAN aims to maintain a secure and safe maritime environment. It also supports three core NATO tasks: collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security.

Operation PROJECTION is the Canadian Armed Forces’ ongoing commitment to promoting peace around the world. The CAF is conducting training, exercises, and engagements, and is operating in maritime environments around the world.

Operation REASSURANCE | Central and Eastern Europe

Operation REASSURANCE is the CAF contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

Enhanced Forward Presence Latvia (eFP)

Throughout the month of May, eFP BG Latvia continued to conduct a broad range of training, and participated in numerous community and outreach events.

Members of the NATO eFP BG Latvia are participating in Exercise SUMMER SHIELD from June 2 to 13, 2018 in Camp Ādaži. This exercise is led by the Latvian National Armed Forces. It focuses on integrating combat support and combat capabilities into battalion and brigade-level defense operations. The exercise involves a wide range of capabilities, including artillery, anti-aircraft defense, intelligence, weapons of mass destruction training, engineering tasks, and anti-tank capabilities.

Further, elements of the Battlegroup are also participating in Exercise SABER STRIKE from June 3 to 15, 2018. This exercise is led by the Unites States Army Europe. It is held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. It includes approximately 18 000 soldiers from 19 different countries, and is designed to enhance readiness and cooperation between NATO Allies and regional partners.

Maritime Task Force

On May 6, 2018, HMCS St. John’s joined Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). It is supporting NATO activities, including Operation SEA GUARDIAN, in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Operation IMPACT | Middle East

On May 26, 2018, 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron assumed command of the Tactical Aviation Detachment of Air Task Force-Iraq from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Global Coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

As of June 2, 2018, Air Task Force-Iraq has flown 4272 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller flew 1024 sorties. It delivered nearly 59 700 000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft; and
  • CC-130J Hercules aircraft flew 989 sorties. It delivered some 5 741 700 pounds of cargo.

*This total includes 1378 sorties flown by CF-18 Hornets. They flew between October 30, 2014 and February 15, 2016. It also includes 881 sorties flown by a CP-140 Aurora. It flew between October 30, 2014 and December 11, 2017. For security reasons, we do not communicate the number of sorties flown by the CH-146 Griffon helicopters.

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