Royal Canadian Air Force hosts Exercise Maple Flag 50

News Article / May 29, 2017

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Royal Canadian Air Force

Now into its fiftieth iteration, Exercise Maple Flag, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s largest and most complex international training event of the year, begins this week at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.

“Exercise Maple Flag, and those like it, enables the RCAF to continue its history of generating world-class air power,” says Major-General Christian Drouin, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region. “This exercise is a great opportunity to enhance our agility, reach, and power, while integrating with our domestic joint partners and allies.”

Taking place from May 29 to June 23, Exercise Maple Flag will bring together nearly 1,600 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel in participating or supporting roles, and more 500 personnel from allied and partner nations along with multiple aircraft including:

  • From Canada: CF-18 Hornet fighters, CH-147F Chinook helicopters, CH-146 Griffon helicopters, CC-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, CC-130T Hercules air-to-air refueling and transport aircraft, and contracted Dornier Alpha Jets
  • From the United States: F-16 Falcon fighters and E-3 Sentry airborne command and control aircraft
  • From France: A400M heavy tactical airlift aircraft and E-3 Sentry airborne command and control aircraft
  • From the Republic of Singapore: F-16 Falcon fighters

“We are proud to once again host Exercise Maple Flag in support of our Canadian and international partners and allies. The personnel of 4 Wing and Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake have been working hard over the past year to plan this incredible, fully immersive training opportunity,” says Colonel Paul Doyle, the commander of 4 Wing. “To prepare ourselves for real world combat, we must practice our combined capabilities in a large force, realistic environment, something Exercise Maple Flag allows us to do.”

This international exercise prepares Canadian and international aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel for the rigours of operations in the modern aerial battlespace. In recent years, Exercise Maple Flag has begun to host elements of joint forces training, such as the 1 Wing-led Helicopter Advanced Tactical Aviation Course supported in part by the Canadian Army.

Participants from allied and partner forces include:

  • The United States Air Force
  • The United States Air Force Reserve
  • The United States Marine Corps
  • The French Air Force
  • The Republic of Singapore Air Force
  • The British Army

The goal of the exercise is to hone a multitude of skills within a realistic, evolving and challenging operating environment, enabling all participants to become an Agile and Integrated force, with the Reach and Power (AIRPower) to achieve the mission. For the RCAF, Exercise Maple Flag provides an opportunity for personnel to embrace AIRPower, and refine their capabilities as guarantors of Canadian Sovereignty.

Exercise Maple Flag takes place primarily inside the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. This unique airspace permits the use of a variety of simulated and live weapons systems, as well as supersonic flight.

Participation in Exercise Maple Flag enhances the readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces to undertake missions at the direction of the Government of Canada.

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