A CP-140 Aurora and personnel from 19 Wing Comox are part of the Canadian Forces’ response to the crisis in Libya, where rebels are rising up against the rule of leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced last Thursday that the Canadian Forces (CF) deployed two CP-140 Aurora aircraft — one from 19 Wing Comox and one from 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., — to Italy to provide strategic maritime surveillance to ongoing international efforts to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), which demands an immediate ceasefire in Libya, imposes a no-fly zone and authorizes member states to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians under attack.
“The deployment of these aircraft provides additional resources for the Canadian Forces and our allies during the current crisis in Libya,” MacKay said in a news release. “These additional assets, and 435 military personnel in the region, ensure that Canada plays a leading role in enforcing the will of the United Nations Security Council to protect the civilian population.”
The CP-140 Aurora aircraft are deployed as part of Operation Mobile, the CF’s participation in the multinational response to the continuing crisis in Libya.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Charlottetown and six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets have also been deployed as part of the operation.
“This demonstrates, once again, that CF members are highly trained and well-equipped experts who are ready to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice,” said Lt.-Gen. André Deschamps, Chief of the Air Staff. “The strategic maritime surveillance capacity provided by the CP-140 Aurora aircraft allows the CF to react rapidly to evolving situations and provide support to the Allied efforts over Libyan territory.”
A technical brief on Operation Mobile noted that along with the two CP-140 Auroras, the CF deployed air and ground crews totalling 80 CF personnel from 14 Wing Greenwood and 19 Wing Comox.
This includes about 30 members from 19 Wing Comox, according to public affairs officer Capt. Alexandre Cadieux.
“The CP-140 Auroras will be based at Sigonella, Italy and will provide strategic maritime surveillance in support of UNSCR 1973 and the arms embargo enforcement mission,” stated the brief.