THE COLD WAR ENDS AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM BEGINS (1989-PRESENT)

A member of 115 ATU, seated in a CC-108 Caribou, talks with a camel rider.

The missions continued to roll out, including the Congo (1960–64), West New Guinea (1962–63) and Yemen (1963–64).

Just before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (the “Six Day War”) broke out, the Air Force evacuated the entire Canadian contingent of 700 Canadian peacekeepers from the region in just three days. One of the saddest days for the Air Force occurred on August 9, 1974, during Operation Danaca, which supported both UNEF in the Sinai and the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights. A CC-115 Buffalo aircraft from 116 ATU was shot down over Syria, killing nine crew and passengers. They are known as the “Buffalo Nine” and August 9 is commemorated as “Peacekeepers Day” in Canada.

In recent years, Air Force operations have spanned a spectrum that includes participating in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and drug interdictions; enforcing embargoes and no-fly zones; and contributing to both peace-support and combat operations.

Since 2000, these missions have included — but are not limited to — the following: 

DATESOPERATION NAMELOCATION
1998-2000 Op Echo Balkans
1999–2000 Op Kinetic Kosovo and former Yugoslav
1999–2001 Op Toucan East Timor
2000–2001 Op Artisan Albania
2001–2003 Op Support North America
2001–2003 Op Apollo Arabian Gulf Region
2003 Op Caravan Democratic Republic of Congo
2003–2011 Op Athena Afghanistan
2004 Op Sirius Mediterranean
2005 Op Unison United States
2006 Op Lion Lebanon
2009 Op Tatou Trinidad and Tobago
2010 Op Hestia Haiti
2011 and 2013 Op Ignition Iceland
2011 Op Mobile Libya
2011 Op Jaguar Jamaica
2013 Op Renaissance Philippines

In addition to these missions, individual members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) participate in other international missions as peacekeepers, UN observers and staff and many naval deployments involve RCAF personnel who embark with Sea King helicopter air detachments.

Moreover, the RCAF is also often involved in transporting members of the Disaster Assistance Relief Team to regions that are in crisis, such as the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.