Air Force takes part in disaster relief exercise in Peru

Disaster Relief in Peru

A thumbs up from military and civilian technicians at 14 Wing Greenwood, as a CH-149 Cormorant with an Air Transportation Kit makes it way up the ramp into at CC-177 Globemaster III, April 17.

Aircrews from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) have deployed to Peru to take part in Exercise Cooperación III, a key Latin American multinational exercise. The exercise, which has a focus on disaster relief, is taking place from April 19 to May 2.

This deployment highlights two milestones for the RCAF: it is the first time a CH-149 Cormorant has been transported by a CC-177 Globemaster III, and it is the first time a Cormorant has been deployed outside of North America.

“This is the first time a Cormorant helicopter will be transported by a CC-177,” said Colonel Jim Benninger, commander of the RCAF Air Task Force. “Cormorant crews have demonstrated time and again they can help those in need at home, and through this exercise, Canadians can be proud to know we are demonstrating our ability to help those in need abroad.”

The exercise will test the air-transportability of the helicopter in an expeditionary setting to simulate response to an international crisis. In addition to testing the air-transportablity of the Cormorant via the Globemaster, the RCAF will conduct air expeditionary training, search and rescue, and humanitarian aid delivery training.

The Globemaster is from 429 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, and the Cormorant is from 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Also participating in the exercise is a CC-130J Hercules from 426 Transport Training Squadron at 8 Wing, as well as crews from 9 Wing Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, and 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia.

As part of the Government of Canada’s Global Engagement Strategy, the CAF is working toward a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere through participation in exercises such as Cooperación III. The RCAF plays a role in this commitment as a member of the System of Cooperation among the Air Forces of the Americas, known in Spanish as the Sistema de Cooperación entre las Fuerzas Aéreas Americanas (SICOFAA).

“This exercise highlights the importance of partnerships and interoperability within SICOFAA nations,” said Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, commander of the RCAF. “By conducting air expeditionary training, and practicing our humanitarian aid delivery and search and rescue capabilities in this region, the RCAF will be even better prepared should we ever be called upon to assist in the event of a natural disaster.”

Approximately 60 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have deployed in the exercise. In 2010, the RCAF participated in Exercise Cooperación I, which was hosted by the Republic of Chile. DND

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