As Fort McMurray’s residents remain displaced from the ongoing wildfires, the CAF has stepped in to offer assistance by delivering 8,200 pounds of food, water and other materials to the area via the CH 147F Chinook helicopter.
“It brings me great pride to be a part of the first ever employment of the CH-147F Chinook in Canadian domestic humanitarian operations. The helicopter’s role is just another example of how Joint Task Force West is ready and able to help fellow Albertans affected by the wildfires,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Kimpinski, Air Task Force Commander – Joint Task Force West
This is the first time the CAF has operated the Chinook helicopter on a domestic humanitarian mission. The Chinook helicopter, from the 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa, is working alongside four CH-146 Griffon Helicopters and one CC-130J Hercules aircraft. The aircrafts are currently operating under Operation LENTUS, the CAF contingency plan for domestic natural disasters.
The Chinook is “an advanced, multi-mission, medium to heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary mission is the tactical transport of equipment and personnel during domestic or deployed operations. The versatility, impressive capacity and extended range of the Chinook make it ideal for operations in Canada’s vast territory and demanding environment,” according to a statement released by the DND/CAF on May 8.
The CH-147F Chinook is part of Joint Task Force West’s Air Task Force – Forward. The Task Force is working to evacuate residents, transport emergency response personnel, conduct search and rescue missions, deliver emergency supplies, and conduct night surveillance missions and fly reconnaissance.
Above Image: Canada’s new CH-147F Chinook medium- to heavy-lift helicopter makes its way from the nation’s capital, up the Ottawa valley to its new home at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont., on June 27, 2013.