ISTANBUL — A tactical helicopter squadron from Edmonton, Canada, was deployed to Kurdistan Region on Monday.
The 408 Squadron includes 60 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and four CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
The deployment is part of Operation Impact, which is Canada’s contribution to the coalition efforts against the Islamic State (IS). The deployed squadron will provide tactical transport to Canadian troops already in and near Erbil.
“We provide air power that integrates with and supports our CAF and coalition partners. The tactical helicopter detachment is a crucial component of this commitment,” Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division, said.
Currently, there is another Canadian squadron in Iraq, known as 430 Squadron. It is based in Valcartier, Quebec,and has been in Iraq since October of 2016. “The 430 Squadron has done a tremendous job over the past few months, maintaining a level of excellence that I know 408 Squadron will continue,” continued Drouin.
“The men and women of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron will continue to provide agile, reliable and dedicated service that Canada’s Special Operations Forces and our coalition allies have come to expect from the [Royal Canadian Air Force],” Colonel Jeannot Boucher added.
There are about 830 Canadian military personnel taking part in Operation Impact. They are based in both Iraq and Kuwait. An additional three Canadian aircrafts are based just in Kuwait.