Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

August 11, 2007 15:48 ET

Canada's New Government Welcomes Arrival of First C-17 Aircraft

ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2007) - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, today joined the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of International Cooperation, and Lieutenant-General Angus Watt, Chief of the Air Staff at the Abbotsford International Airshow to welcome the arrival of Canada's first C-17 Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft.

"Canada's New Government has long recognized the importance of acquiring our own strategic airlift aircrafts to allow us to quickly deploy equipment, supplies or passengers when and where needed around world, and without having to rely on our allies or contractors," said Minister O'Connor. "Our first C-17 will soon be used for operations in support of humanitarian relief, disasters including floods or forest fires, or to a theatre of operations. Canada's New Government is proud to be fulfilling our commitment with its arrival."

The strategic airlift capacity of the C-17 will ensure the Canadian Forces can quickly move heavy equipment, supplies or passengers over long distances, when and where needed in Canada or overseas.

Generators, water purification equipment, medical equipment and/or food supplies are examples of some of the life-saving cargo that strategic airlift can deliver to Canadians, or to those in need around the world, in emergency situations.

The Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), for example, will use strategic lift to great advantage by deploying troops and equipment faster to alleviate suffering in those parts of the world afflicted by crisis due to natural disasters.

"Canadians have always responded generously to international appeals for assistance in times of emergency and disaster" said Minister Verner. "With the arrival of the C-17 and working in cooperation with the Canadian Forces, we will be able to quickly answer a variety of humanitarian needs around the world - contributing to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous world."

"Here in Canada, this aircraft can help to bring stability to communities which have been struck by crisis situations," said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety. "Like never before we'll be able to quickly provide relief to crises that hit our own communities, such as floods, ice storms and forest fires."

"This aircraft represents the Canadian Forces' first-ever independent strategic airlift capability," said Gen. Hillier. "The C-17 will ensure that we can quickly move our men and women with their life-saving equipment to reach those in need when and wherever they need us most."

"In a country as big as Canada, strategic airlift is essential," Lt.-Gen. Watt. "This capability will allow us to reach out to Canadians in domestic emergencies anywhere, anytime. It is also a means for Canada to provide a stronger and faster response in times of international crisis."

In June 2006, Canada's New Government announced plans to procure strategic airlift, and is now proud to deliver on this promise for the Canadian Forces and Canadians. The Government continues to provide value for taxpayers' dollars by working effectively and efficiently on all of its current equipment initiatives and infrastructure investments.

The C-17's home base will be at 8 Wing / CFB Trenton, Ontario.

Additional information on the C-17 and Strategic Airlift can be found at:
Air Force C-17 News site: http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/site/equip/c17/news_e.asp

Backgrounders and Minister's Statement: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Focus/first/index_e.asp

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister O'Connor
    Isabelle Bouchard
    613-996-3100
    or
    Department of National Defence
    Media Liaison Office
    613-996-2353 or 2354