Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 17, 2010 10:53 ET

Minister of National Defence Announces Further Canadian Forces Assets Being Deployed by Government of Canada in Response to Haiti Disaster

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced further Canadian Forces (CF) support to Haiti, in response to the catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, on January 12, 2010.

"The Government of Canada feels it has a moral imperative to do everything in its power to help with international relief and stabilization efforts in Haiti," said Minister MacKay. "To further support Op HESTIA, I am ordering a light infantry battalion and health services support be deployed to bring further aid and assistance to the people of Haiti."

Today's announcement to deploy 1000 more troops to Haiti is in addition to the Search and Rescue helicopters, Disaster Assistance Response Team and Naval Task Force that the Government has already deployed.

"Once all our assets, platforms and personnel are in place, the Canadian Forces will have approximately 2000 Canadian Forces personnel, seven helicopters and two ships contributing to rescue, recovery and reconstruction efforts in Haiti."

This CF operation, known as OPERATION HESTIA, will include:

- The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), including engineering, medical, logistical, and defence and security platoons;

- A Naval Task Force, made up of a destroyer and frigate, and a CH-124 Sea King helicopter;

- Six CH-146 Griffon helicopters;

- One light infantry battalion;

- CC-177 Globemaster and CC-130 Hercules airlift support; and

- Medical facilities.

The number of CF personnel dedicated to Op HESTIA will give Canada the ability to provide relief to a greater number of Haitians.

"On behalf of the Government and in support of other Departments and aid organizations, the Canadian Forces has responded with determination to assist in relief efforts in Haiti," added General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "Brigadier-General Guy Laroche will command a joint Air, Land, and Sea humanitarian task force in support of the Canadian Ambassador and in support of the UN Force - MINUSTAH, our allies and partners."

Note to Editors:

Video b-roll and still imagery of the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) preparing to deploy to Haiti is available for media download at the following sites:

Still imagery: by keyword search "Haiti"; and

Video b-roll:

The footage is transmitted over the Internet in MPEG 4 format and needs to be re-sized for broadcast. Directions for re-sizing are also posted. The audio from these files can also be used for radio.

Media who experience difficulty in downloading the footage or require additional information are asked to contact the number below for assistance.

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