The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed 60 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) to northern Iraq earlier this week where they will assume the duties of the Tactical Aviation Detachment of Air Task Force-Iraq.
“The Royal Canadian Air Force is proud to be part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the ongoing fight against Daesh. We provide air power that integrates with and supports our CAF 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 that I know 408 Squadron will continue,” said MGen. Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division.
Based out of Edmonton, AB’s 3rd Canadian Division Support Base, the members of 408 THS will relieve 430 THS of Valcartier, QC as part of Operation IMPACT, the CAF’s contribution to the fight against Daesh. 430 THS has been providing tactical aviation support in northern Iraq since early October 2016.
“The men and women of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron will continue to provide agile, reliable and dedicated service that Canada’s Special Operations Forces and our coalition allies have come to expect from the RCAF. As they deploy to support the fight against Daesh, I am confident that they will live up to their squadron motto: For Freedom,” said Col. Jeannot Boucher, Commander 1 Wing.
During their deployment, the 60 members of 408 THS will fly and maintain up to four CH-146 Griffon helicopters out of Camp Érable, Iraq, also the location of the Canadian-led Coalition Role 2 medical facility.
The helicopters provide in-theatre tactical transport for Canadian troops and material near Erbil, Iraq. CH-146 Griffon helicopters were first used in Operation IMPACT in May 2016.
“As part of the fight against Daesh, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron has deployed a contingent of men and women to provide in-theatre tactical transport in northern Iraq. I am proud of the commitment, readiness, and professionalism of our airmen and women, and am certain that they will provide the same level of excellence in the conduct of their mission as this squadron has done throughout its rich and operationally focused history,” said LCol. Trevor Teller, Commanding Officer 408 THS.