Families and Canadian Armed Forces leaders welcomed the return of the final CP-140 Aurora and its aircrew from the Middle East on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora squadrons have maintained a presence on Operation Impact as part of Air Task Force-Iraq since Canada joined the Coalition to counter Daesh in October 2014.
During Operation Impact, two Auroras deployed on short notice to provide an essential overland intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to the Coalition using a number of upgraded, technologically-advanced sensors. The Aurora detachment flew 840 missions and contributed directly to the defeat of Daesh by locating potential targets and helping the Coalition to build an accurate picture of what was happening on the ground.
“While our Aurora detachment is returning from Op Impact, the CP-140 fleet continues to support Canadian Armed Forces operations at home and around the globe,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. “From its traditional anti-submarine warfare role to helping combat illicit trafficking in the Caribbean, the Auroras and those who fly and maintain them continue to project Canadian airpower.”
As Daesh continues to lose territory, the military campaign continues to evolve. Similarly, the CAF continues to adjust its contributions to ensure it remains a valuable Coalition partner. Among several changes to the CAF contribution, the CP-140 Aurora missions concluded and a second CC-130J Hercules was added to Air Task Force-Iraq to provide additional airlift capability.
“We are proud of the teamwork and commitment to operational excellence displayed by our women and men during the past three years as they worked tirelessly to defeat Daesh,” said Colonel Mike Adamson, 14 Wing’s commander. “They have proven themselves and their recently-modernized aircraft to be among the best in the world in the essential role of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.”
The 881 sorties flown by the Aurora detachment as part of Air Task Force-Iraq would not have been possible without the personnel and supporting capabilities. This includes the aircrew (pilots, air combat systems officers, airborne sensor operators, flight engineers), groundcrew (aircraft technicians and logistics personnel), and intelligence officers and operators who supported the Coalition’s intelligence capability by processing the vast amounts of data collected by the aircraft.
In its valuable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance role, Aurora crews have surveyed nearly 6,000 points of interest and flown close to 7,500 hours since the beginning of Operation Impact.
CP-140 Aurora crews are instrumental in a number of domestic roles, such as sovereignty patrols, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and disaster relief/humanitarian support; they also support fishery and pollution patrols and Arctic patrols.
Although the aircraft and crew have returned to Canada, additional members of the Aurora detachment will return to Canada in the coming weeks.