The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has deployed four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to Iraq in support of Operation Impact.
Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) Operation Impact mission involves fighting ISIS militants. Under this operation, the CAF conducts air operations and also provides training and assistance to Iraqi security forces.
In addition to Griffon helicopters, more than 60 members of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron have been deployed to provide in-theatre tactical transport near Erbil, Iraq. Aircraft will carry self-defence systems for protection of Canadian troops and munitions.
1 Canadian Air Division commander major-general Christian Drouin said: “We provide air power that integrates with and supports our Canadian Armed Forces and coalition partners.
“The tactical helicopter detachment is a crucial component of this commitment. 430 Squadron has done a tremendous job over the past few months, maintaining a level of excellence I know 408 Squadron will continue.”
Members of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron will replace members of 430e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères as the Tactical Aviation Detachment of Air Task Force–Iraq.
The CH-146 Griffon helicopters will be operated and maintained by 408 Squadron.
As part of Joint Task Force–Iraq, Air Task Force–Iraq conducts air operations against ISIS to improve security in Iraq and the region.
According to RCAF, one CC-150(T) Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft and two CP-140 Aurora intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft are currently deployed with Air Task Force-Iraq, and are based in Kuwait.
Image: Members of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron board an aircraft to deploy to Erbil, Iraq, from Edmonton, Alberta. Photo: courtesy of DND.