The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has deployed three combat support squadrons and one transport and rescue squadron to take part in Exercise Southern Breeze. The exercise will run from 6 February to 4 March.
Taking place at the Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida, US, the exercise is designed ‘to employ the skills required to deploy a small-scale force and sustain operations while dislocated from main supporting units’. The training will let the squadrons gain experience providing combat support and SAR duties from CH-146 Griffon helicopters. It also gives the crews the chance to refine their overwater and boat rescue skills alongside the US Coast Guard (USCG).
“Our combat support squadrons provide an agile medical response capability and a high-readiness operational posture to support local wing operations,” said Major Steven Siket, Air Task Force commander. “Their residual capacity and SAR-like capabilities make combat support and SAR Griffon capabilities, ensuring that these crews are ready to help Canadians and serve Canadian interests whenever and wherever that need arises.”
The RCAF said that 120 personnel and three CH-146 Griffon helicopters were deployed on the exercise. Throughout the exercise, both day and night operations will take place, thereby capitalising on every opportunity to train and develop vital SAR skills.