Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 28, 2013 09:31 ET

Canada Welcomes International Forces to Exercise Maple Flag 46

4 WING COLD LAKE, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 28, 2013) - Aircrews from Canada's allies and partners will fly alongside the Royal Canadian Air Force in Exercise Maple Flag 46. This large-scale, international air combat exercise is hosted annually at 4 Wing Cold Lake, and will take place this year from May 27 to June 21.

"Exercises such as Maple Flag make an enormous contribution to improving the interoperability between the Royal Canadian Air Force and the armed forces of partner nations," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "This major exercise contributes to the high level of coordination and cooperation between Canada and her allies, and ensures our combined readiness to respond to the evolving security environment."

Exercise Maple Flag is one of the largest and most advanced air combat exercises in the world, and is just one of the ways the Royal Canadian Air Force contributes to increasing military interoperability between Canada and her allies and partners. It was developed to enhance the survivability and improve the performance of junior Canadian and allied aircrews by providing them with their first 10 combat missions in a structured, academic setting. For the first time, Maple Flag will also be integrated into JointEx 13, a Canadian Armed Forces exercise that changes how we fight, develop, and train the future force.

"This exercise is essential to maintaining the operational readiness of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and augments our ability to implement joint capabilities within the Canadian Armed Forces," said Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. "It gives us the opportunity to train in a combined and joint setting, while implementing lessons we have learned from recent operations overseas, such as Afghanistan and Libya."

Canadian Armed Forces units from across Canada will take part in this year's Maple Flag 46, along with forces from Belgium, Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In addition, nations participating in an observer capacity include Chile, India, Oman, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, and Ukraine.

During exercise Maple Flag 46, participants will use the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. The range covers 1.17 million hectares (11 600 square kilometres), and is the only tactical bombing range in Canada. The vast, unrestricted airspace, with no civilian air traffic and more than 640 targets, makes it an attractive training area for allied air forces.

"Exercise Maple Flag 46 provides a valuable training opportunity for us and our training partners," said Colonel Patrice Laroche, Commander of 4 Wing Cold Lake. "The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range provides excellent airspace and modernized training facilities that will give our aircrews and those of our participating allies an outstanding and realistic training experience."

During the four-week exercise, 4 Wing, the city of Cold Lake, and surrounding communities will see an influx of more than 1100 Canadian and international military personnel, and more than 30 additional aircraft. On Saturday, June 15, 4 Wing Cold Lake will host the Maple Flag open house, giving the local community and public a chance to meet members of the participating nations, and observe the various aircraft involved in the exercise.

Note to editor/news director:

Exercise Maple Flag 46 website: http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/4w-4e/mapleflag/index-eng.asp

Contact Information