2018/05/23 – Personnel from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 and 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadrons completed an exercise Tuesday that is to validate their capabilities in anticipation of an eventual deployment of a task force to Mali.
The pre-deployment preparation achieved the integration of the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, the validation of the Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability, and certification of the headquarters team, according to the RCAF. The training took part during the Maple Resolve exercise in Wainwright, Alberta.
On March 19 the Canadian government announced its commitment to deploy a task force made up of medium utility and heavy lift transport helicopters for up to 12 months to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
The task force will provide two CH-147F Chinook helicopters from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Petawawa, Ont. and four CH-146 Griffon helicopters from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Edmonton, Alta. Aircraft spares could also be made available to the Aviation Detachment.
The aircraft and personnel are expected in Africa by August.
In Mali, the CH-146 Griffon helicopters will serve as an armed escort for the Chinooks as they carry out UN missions. The Canadian Armed Forces will provide MINUSMA with a number of medically-trained personnel who will help in medical evacuations for partners and allied forces on the ground and provide logistical support for the mission.
Photos below, courtesy of Canadian Forces show the training in Alberta.