Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, from Edmonton, Alberta, are completing their training for an upcoming deployment to Iraq.
Operating and maintaining CH-146 Griffon helicopters, the squadron deployed to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, to train in desert-like conditions, while also assisting the United States Marine Corps with their own major exercise.
“By conducting realistic readiness training for 408 Squadron’s upcoming Iraq deployment, we not only equip them with the skills they need to operate in an unstable part of the world, but we also demonstrate to our Allies that we take our leadership of the NATO Mission in Iraq seriously, by providing crucial logistical support to enable the training of our Iraqi partners,” said Brigadier-General Iain Huddleston, acting commander of 1 Canadian Air Division
Having recently returned from a United Nations deployment in Mali, members of 408 Squadron conducted a variety of training serials including operations in austere environments to prepare themselves to fly and maintain aircraft in Iraq as part of Operation Impact (NATO Mission Iraq).
“The members of 408 Squadron have experienced an unprecedented operational tempo in the past decade, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Mali, with other deployments in support of humanitarian missions at home and abroad during those years, said Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Forbes, 408 Squadron’s commanding officer….