The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) made its first medevac rescue as part of Operation Presence Mali, an Air Task Force deployed in Mali to assist with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission.
On 11 September, a CH-147 Chinook and CH-146 Griffon helicopter responded to a request for medical evacuation north of Gao. Though weather conditions were initially severe, the helicopters were able to launch and evacuate the injured soldier without any further issues.
Colonel Christopher McKenna, commander of Task Force Mali, Operation Presence, was proud of the rescue: “The evacuation conducted by this group of specialised CAF personnel in Mali provides an opportunity to demonstrate our skills and expertise operations and indicates how our deployed personnel handle themselves with the professionalism and composure for which Canadian Armed Forces members are known.”
The Air Task Force has been stationed in Mali since March 2018 and provides transport and logistical capabilities to UN forces, as well as an aeromedical evacuation capability. Three CH-147 Chinooks, five CH-146 Griffons and around 250 personnel are currently located in near Gao.
“Through Operation Presence-Mali, we are supporting United Nations peace-support operations and helping to secure the conditions for lasting peace and security in Mali,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Canadian Minister of National Defence. “The successful execution of yesterday’s first medical evacuation mission by the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces Task Force demonstrates that they have the skills and expertise necessary to make a meaningful difference in the region.”