The crew of a CP-140 Aurora from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron is back at 19 Wing Comox, having just taken part in Exercise Proud Manta, the world’s largest anti-submarine warfare exercise.
Held off the coast of Sicily, the exercise ran from Feb. 23 until March 6.
Members of 407 Squadron teamed up with personnel from 14 Wing, Greenwood, N.S. and 8 Wing Trenton, Ont. at Naval Air Station Sigonella, during the exercise that involved 16 aircraft, eight surface ships and four submarines from 10 NATO countries. Over 100 RCAF personnel, two CP-140 Aurora aircraft, a C-130 Hercules, and a C-17 Globemaster were involved in the exercise.
Exercise Proud Manta challenged RCAF Aurora crews with above-and below-water training scenarios. These scenarios ranged from non-threatening communication exercises between multi-national aircraft, ships, and submarines to war-fighting scenarios. The most challenging training for the crews involved locating submarines.
“The exercise was an excellent opportunity to train with our allies in order to improve our ability to operate together,” said Capt. Kurt Luneburg, crew commander from 407 Squadron.
The CP-140 Aurora is Canada’s only strategic long-range surveillance aircraft. Equipped with advanced sensors and cameras, the CP-140 is used to patrol Canada’s coastlines and our Arctic region, exercising Canadian sovereignty and safeguarding our waters from foreign threats.
The Aurora is able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines, and most recently operated from Sigonella in support of NATO Operation Unified Protector, playing a key role as part of Canada’s contribution in support of the Libyan people.
“In order for us to provide an effective long-range patrol capability for the defence of Canada, it is important that our personnel take part in this type of training opportunity so we can maintain and improve our skills as well as reinforce interoperability with our allies,” said Lieut.-Col. Jason Kenny, commanding officer of 407 Squadron.
“A major exercise like this brings out the best in our members and allows us to synchronize our efforts, be they in the air or supporting flying operations from afar.”
The CP-140 Aurora has a crew of 10, including two pilots, one flight engineer, one tactical navigator, one navigator communicator, and five airborne electronic sensor operators. The aircraft is capable of flying more than 9,000 kilometres (5,000 nautical miles) without refuelling.
Although designed for anti-submarine warfare, its 17-hour endurance makes the aircraft ideal for an evolving variety of operations, including overland surveillance and reconnaissance gathering.
— 19 Wing Comox