The RCAF in Rim of the Pacific 2012

Backgrounder / June 2, 2012

Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is the world’s largest maritime multi-national exercise and is designed to prepare military forces fromPacific Rimnations to work together in missions ranging from providing humanitarian aid to full-combat operations.

Under the command of Brigadier-General Michael Hood, RIMPAC Combined Forces Air Component Commander, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will contribute to the more than 200 coalition aircraft participating in this year’s exercise:

  • extensive CC-177 Globemaster and CC-150 Polaris airlift support from 429 Transport Squadron and 437 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.;

  • four CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit from Greenwood, N.S., and 407 Long Range Patrol  Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, B.C.

  • seven CF-188 Hornet fighter jets from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville Que.;

  • a CC-150 Polaris Air to Air Refueller from 437 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton Ont.;

  • a CC-130HT Air to Air Refueller from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 17 Wing Winnipeg M.B.; and

  • two CH-124 Sea King detachments from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron of 12 Wing at Victoria, B.C..

The RCAF will further deploy key air expertise to form the nucleus of the RIMPAC Combined Air Operations Centre at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Deployable Mission Support Centre from 19 Wing Comox at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

RIMPAC Combined Air Operations Centre

The RIMPAC Combined Air Operations Centre (RIMPAC CAOC) will provide operational-level command and control of air and space for the deployed Combined Forces Air Component Commander, Brigadier-General Michael Hood. The CAOC is the focal point for planning, execution and assessment of aerospace operations, and coordinates strategic decisions to tactical level execution.

Brigadier-General Hood’s full biography is available at this link:

Deployable Mission Support Centre

The Deployable Mission Support Centre (DMSC) is a portable, modular system that can be deployed anywhere in the world to support CP-140 Aurora operations. At its most basic, the DMSC is comprised of a collection of radios, computers and encryption gear into a small fleet of suitcases that can be set up and fully operational in less than four hours.

The system provides pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight support to theAuroraaircraft. This includes intelligence briefings pre-flight, data collection during the flight and data analysis post-flight.

During Operation MOBILE, the DMSC deployed to Sigonella, Italy and was fully operational from a sea container within hours of arrival. The superior quality of the data collection and subsequent analysis by Intelligence personnel made it the standard for all NATO intelligence products throughout the operation.

Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit

Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MPEU) is the flight test agent responsible for conducting Operational Evaluations for the CP-140 Aurora and CP-140A Arcturus fleets. MPEU’s expertise covers a varied and complex scope of disciplines including project management, test and evaluation, tactical development, operational suitability assessments, human factors engineering, data collection and analysis as well as Aircraft avionics and airframe performance studies; all of which are conducted in as operationally realistic environment as possible.

Projects range from operational evaluations of new equipment to assistance to Canadian Industry and Defence Research Establishments in their attempts to improve the operational capabilities of the Canadian Forces.

CC-177 Globemaster III

The CC-177 Globemaster III helps provide everything from the rapid delivery of troops and cargo transport to oversized combat equipment from coast to coast to coast and to anywhere else worldwide. It is used for a wide range of strategic and tactical missions for Canada’s Air Force and only requires a crew of three: pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster.

Rapid, reliable and flexible, the strategic and tactical CC-177 is equipped with advanced digital avionics, has a maximum range of approximately 5,500 nautical miles and can carry a payload of up to 160,000 pounds (72, 727 kilograms) due to its four engines (Pratt & Whitney 2040 series) that produce 40,440 pounds (18, 343 kilograms) of thrust.

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CP-140 Aurora

As Canada’s only strategic maritime surveillance aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora is often used to patrol Canada’s coastlines, safeguarding our waters from foreign threats. Capable of flying more than 9000 km—or 5000 nautical miles—without refuelling, this multi-purpose aircraft goes the distance.

Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the Aurorais able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines. However, its 17-hour endurance and 9266 km range make the aircraft ideal for an evolving variety of operations. The Aurorais frequently used to search out illegal fishing, immigration, drug trafficking and polluting along the coastline, as well as violations of Canadian territorial sovereignty above and below the ocean’s surface. With its air-droppable survival pods, the CP-140 can also perform search and rescue (SAR) duties.

Three of the CP-140 Auroras deployed for RIMPAC 2012 have upgraded communications, Data Management System and sensors under Block 3 of the Aurora Incremental Modernization Program, and will be tested for the first time in a tactical environment.

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CF-188 Hornet

A versatile, world-class fighter aircraft, the supersonic CF-188 Hornet can engage both ground and aerial targets. As the Canadian Air Force’s frontline multi-role fighter, the CF-188 is used for air defence, air superiority, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation.

The aircraft is equipped with a sophisticated radar system that can track targets in all weather and from great distances. A Sniper Advanced Targeting pod, which contains an infra-red (heat-sensitive) camera and TV camera, allows pilots to see targets at night and in low visibility conditions. The pod also has a laser designator to guide precision bombing, and a laser spot tracker.

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CC-150 Polaris

The CC-150 Polaris is a multi-purpose, twin-engine, long-range jet aircraft that can be converted for passenger, freight or medical transport, or any combination of these configurations.

As part of the Air Force Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program, two CC-150 Polaris aircraft have been converted to strategic air-to-air refuellers for Canada’s fleet of CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft. The Polaris MRTT is capable of transferring 36,000 kilograms (79,380 pounds) of fuel to receiving aircraft over a journey of 4,630 kilometres (2,875 statute miles). Consequently, one Polaris tanker can ferry a flight of four CF-18 Hornets non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.

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CC-130 Hercules 

The CC-130 Hercules is a four-engine fixed-wing turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 78 combat troops. It is used for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo), search and rescue (SAR), air-to-air refuelling (AAR), and aircrew training. It can carry more than 17, 000 kilograms (about 38, 000 pounds) of fuel for tactical AAR. In the tactical AAR role, the Hercules can transfer 450 to 900 kilograms (about 1, 000 to 2, 000 pounds or 450 to 900 litres) of fuel per minute, and refuels the CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft in less than five minutes.

Capable of short takeoffs and landings (STOL) on unprepared runways, it can respond to SAR emergencies on almost any terrain and under the most challenging weather conditions. It can also transport troops and equipment in support of humanitarian aid operations conducted by the CF Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).

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CH-124 Sea King

A ship-borne maritime helicopter, the CH-124 Sea King’s compact design boasts a fold-up rotor and tail that help it to fit on even the smallest warship’s deck, and its amphibious hull lends it the ability to land on water.

The CH-124 is powered by two turboshaft engines and is equipped with subsurface acoustic detection equipment and homing torpedoes. Employing these, the Sea King lifts off from destroyers and frigates to locate and destroy submarines. Domestically, Sea Kings contribute to search and rescue (SAR) operations, disaster relief, counter-narcotic operations, and fisheries and pollution patrols.

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Join the RCAF - Dare to be extraordinary

Meteorological Technicians observe, brief on and forecast weather conditions in support of operations at Royal Canadian Air Force Wings and Squadrons, on Royal Canadian Navy Ships at sea and in Army facilities.

Their primary responsibilities are to:

         - Observe and record surface, marine and upper air weather conditions
         - Process, analyze and interpret meteorological information
         - Operate and maintain specialized meteorological instruments and equipment
         - Brief wing, ship and land unit personnel on actual and expected weather conditions
         - Forecast weather conditions

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