Operations Update – October 2017

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 October 6, 2017.

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, provides information on upcoming exercises and operations, and recaps completed events and initiatives.

Operation LENTUS | British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland

Operation LENTUS is the CAF response to forest fires, floods, and natural disasters in Canada. From July to September 2017, the CAF assisted British Columbia and Manitoba with their wildfire situations.

British Columbia:

After a request for assistance from the government of British Columbia, the CAF began sending troops and aircraft to the region on July 9, 2017.  On September 15, 2017, the government of British Columbia confirmed an end to its state of emergency, and that it no longer needed CAF assistance.  

The CAF conducted the following tasks during this mission:

  • Supported provincial firefighters in firefighting operations;
  • Evacuated locals;
  • Transported first responders and equipment;
  • Delivered essential aid to isolated communities; and

Assisted the RCMP in providing information to the public and conducting observation and reporting tasks at assigned points along access roads in affected areas.

The following aircraft were deployed: Two CC-130J Hercules, one CC-130H Hercules, two CH-147F Chinook helicopters, three CH-146 Griffon helicopters, one CC-177 Globemaster III, and one CC-124 Sea King helicopter.

About 150 vehicles were also deployed.

At the height of this mission, the CAF employed approximately 800 troops in the province. In total, more than 2000 troops from across Canada provided support to the Province over the course of the operation.

Manitoba:

From August 31 to September 3, 2017, two CC-130H Hercules transported First Nation evacuees from Northern Manitoba to Winnipeg due to wildfires and smoke. The aircraft conducted 12 flights, evacuating 1119 people. Six Canadian Rangers helped with evacuations by moving evacuees by boat to the airport from which the Hercules aircraft were conducting flights.

Newfoundland:

The CAF continues to assist displaced residents from Mud Lake, Newfoundland, by providing shelter. These people are staying at the military barracks at 5 Wing Goose Bay. The CAF evacuated residents from Mud Lake in May 2017 after severe flooding.

Operation LIMPID | Canada

CAF efforts under OPERATION LIMPID are ongoing. This operation is the routine domestic surveillance and presence in Canada’s air, maritime, land, space, and cyber domains. Through these activities, the Canadian Armed Forces seeks to detect threats to Canadian security as early as possible.

Operation ELEMENT | Quebec

Operation ELEMENT is the CAF contribution to a whole of government response to an influx of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the Unites States. The CAF were tasked with providing temporary accommodations and making them available to our federal and civilian partners for use.

As of September 22, 2017, Public Safety Canada made the decision for the CAF to dismantle certain elements of the Interim Lodging Sites in Saint-Bernad-de-Lacolle, Quebec and Cornwall, Ontario.

Search and Rescue | Across Canada

As of October 1, the three Joint Rescue Coordination Centres tasked CAF assets 798 times to conduct SAR operations this year.

Highlights:

  • On September 3, the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CH-149 Cormorant to search for two overdue fishermen in a canoe near the Bay of Two Rivers. The fishermen were known to be well prepared for an emergency. The Cormorant began searching for the fisherman along with two other aircraft and multiple boats. On September 5, 2017, the Cormorant found the missing fisherman. Both were brought to Iqualuit and released to an awaiting ambulance.
     
  • On September 13, the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked CH-149 Cormorant with a medical evacuation. A crewmember on board a cruise ship facing a life-threatening situation was transported to an ambulance at the Saint John airport.
     
  • On September 9, the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre tasked a CH-146 Griffon to search for a woman in Algonquin Park. The Griffon transported the patient to Huntsville hospital.

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 RENAISSANCE IRMA MARIA | Hurricanes Irma and Maria | Caribbean

Operation RENAISSANCE IRMA MARIA is the CAF mission to support Hurricane Irma and Maria relief in the Caribbean. The CAF is conducting this operation in support of Global Affairs Canada.

Air Task Force

At the request of the United States, a CC-177 Globemaster is providing airlift support to American relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Two CC-130J Hercules aircraft were also deployed on this operation. Based out of Barbados, they provided airlift support to partner nations. This support included airlifting the Jamaican Defence Force’s Disaster Assistance Response Team and equipment to Dominica.

A CP-140 Aurora was also deployed on this operation. Based out of Barbados, it was tasked with capturing imagery of affected areas. Partner nations used this imagery to assess and respond to the aftermath of the hurricanes. The Aurora returned to Canada once it had completed its mission.

Previously, a CC-177 Globemaster supported France by transporting equipment and supplies from Bordeaux to Guadeloupe. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it flew 66 evacuees and two service dogs from St. Maarten and the Turks and Caicos to Toronto.

Previously, a CC-130J Hercules flew humanitarian supplies from Mississauga to the British Virgin Islands. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it transported Canadians citizens and government officials to Toronto.

Maritime Task Force

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St. John’s and its CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment were also deployed on this operation. Following Hurricane Irma, it helped with relief efforts in the Turks and Caicos. There it removed debris, restored power and water sources, scouted the area, delivered water to locals, and assessed underwater damage.

Following Hurricane Maria, St. John’s transited to Dominica. There it cleared debris and conducted repairs on land. The Sea King delivered water and supplies and transported personnel. It also conducted four medical evacuations shortly after it arrived.

Land Task Force

Previously, the CAF also had a liaison and reconnaissance team in Barbados. Its role was to facilitate CAF support to partners in the region. This team has returned to Canada.

Operation REASSURANCE | Central and Eastern Europe

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

Maritime Task Force:

From September 29 to October 13, 2017, HMCS Charlottetown participated in Exercise BRILLIANT MARINER. This NATO-led exercise took place in the Mediterranean Sea. As a crisis-response exercise, it was designed to enhance the way that NATO maritime forces would respond to an emergency. It included units from 11 different countries.

From September 9 to 16, 2017, CAF members from the Maritime Task Force participated in Exercise NORTHERN COAST 17. This annual exercise has been held in the Baltic Sea since 2007. The exercise was made up of various scenarios including anti-air missile defence, simulated over-the-horizon targeting, anti-submarine warfare, and defence against simulated fast, inshore, attack craft. 16 nations participated in the exercise to strengthen NATO and partner nations’ ability to combine their assets and work together during maritime operations.

Air Task Force:

On September 1, 2017, about 135 CAF members and four CF-188 Hornets began taking part in the NATO enhanced Air Policing in Romania. This mission is taking place from September to December 2017. During this mission, the CAF will support Romanian air policing.

From September 20 to 21, 2017, two CF-188 Hornet aircraft travelled to Slovenia for a bilateral defence cooperation visit. 

Operation UNIFIER | Ukraine

On September 16, 2017, Lieutenant-Colonel Kristopher Reeves assumed command of Joint Task Force - Ukraine from Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Lubiniecki.

 Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces mission to support Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine. The operation’s focus is to assist them with military training.

Operation IMPACT | Middle East

On September 21, 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces began advising and assisting members of the Iraqi security forces (ISF) in the area around Hawija, Iraq. In addition, the Canadian Army will provide a small number of specialized members to support the Special Operations Task Force to allow it to deepen its advise and assist work.

Canada has also sent a small team of Canadian Army engineers to observe ongoing explosive threat training to ISF. This training falls under the NATO Training and Capacity Building – Iraq mandate. This is the first step to set the conditions for highly-skilled Canadian combat engineers to take the lead in future iterations of this valuable training intended to be delivered later this fall.

As of September 30, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has flown 3,230 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller flew 840 sorties. It delivered some 49,900,000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft;
  • CP-140 Aurora aircraft flew 854 reconnaissance missions; and
  • CC-130 Hercules aircraft flew 158 sorties. It delivered some 880,300 pounds of cargo.

*This total includes 1378 sorties conducted by CF-18 Hornets between October 30, 2014 and February 15, 2016.

Operation IMPACT is the CAF contribution to the Global Coalition to dismantle and ultimately defeat Daesh.

Top Tweets

  • We’re flying 🇺🇸#DoD equipment from @FtBraggNC to #PuertoRico after #Maria. In difficult times, it’s important to stand with your friends. [View tweet]
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  • #HMCSStJohns arrival in Dominica: humanitarian relief to the communities of the Caribbean islands #HurricaneMaria. [View tweet]
     
  • We’re working with British allies to help clean a school and restore water sources in the Turks and Caicos region #HurricaneIrma.  [View tweet]

 Top Facebook Posts

  • A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster was loaded with #HurricaneIrma relief supplies in France...  [See more]
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  • A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J Hercules is flying humanitarian supplies from Trenton to the British Virgin Islands. [See more]
     
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