Canada’s Air Task Force-Iraq flies first missions

News Article / November 3, 2014

From the Department of National Defence

Operation Impact is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Republic of Iraq.

Approximately 600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel are deployed to Kuwait; they comprise an air task force (Air Task Force-Iraq), liaison officers, and support elements such as command and control, medical personnel, and logistics.

Air Task Force-Iraq is contributing to coalition air operations against ISIL with the goal of degrading ISIL’s ability to carry out military operations against the people of the Republic of Iraq. The Air Task Force includes six CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft from 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta; a CC-150T Polaris air-to-air  refueller from 8 Wing, Trenton, Ontario to support air operations, and two CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft from 14 Wing, Greenwood, Nova Scotia, to provide reconnaissance capabilities.

Canadian aircraft began air operations in Iraqi airspace on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

“[On Sunday, November 2], Canada's CF-188s conducted their first combat strike since joining the fight against ISIL on October 30,” said Defence Minister Rob Nicholson in a statement.

“Coordinated with our coalition partners, two CF-188s attacked ISIL targets with GBU12 500-pound laser guided bombs in the vicinity of Fallujah, Iraq. The approximately four-hour mission included air-to-air refueling from Canada's Polaris aircraft. All aircraft returned safely to their base. “Assessment of the damage continues. More information will be provided during a media briefing on November 4. “Today's strike demonstrates our Government's firm resolve to tackle the threat of terrorism and to stand with our allies against ISIL's atrocities against innocent women, children and men. I thank all our men and women in uniform for their work on this important mission.”

On Thursday, October 30, two Hornets flew their first mission over Iraq. During the six-hour mission, flown to the west of Baghdad, no targets were engaged. Throughout the mission, the fighters were supported by coalition surveillance and tanker aircraft.

The same day, a CP-140M Aurora long-range patrol aircraft flew a six-hour intelligence-gathering mission over northwestern Iraq. The Aurora’s crew supported intelligence gathering for the Canadian task force and coalition partners to help develop a better understanding of the battle space. The CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refueller also flew an approximately six-hour refueling mission. The Polaris is part of a pool of coalition aircraft with air refueling capabilities assigned to support coalition air assets. The first mission for the Polaris resulted in almost 50,000 pounds of fuel being delivered to coalition aircraft.

The successful conduct the Air Task Force’s first mission on October 30 confirmed the integration of Canadian air assets in the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition against ISIL in the Republic of Iraq.


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