Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 04, 2013 12:39 ET

Canadian Armed Forces Participate in International Search and Rescue Exercise

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 4, 2013) - Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from across Canada have returned home after conducting a challenging cross-border Arctic joint search and rescue exercise (SAREX) response to a simulated major air disaster (MAJAID) in Alaska from October 28 to November 2.

"Exercises such as SAREX Alaska MAJAID 2013 improve our collective ability to effectively conduct SAR in the Arctic and surrounding region," said Major-General Christopher Coates, Deputy Commander Continental, Canadian Joint Operations Command. "By capitalizing on opportunities to work with our international partners, we continue to ensure our international interoperability when the Canadian Armed Forces are called upon to conduct SAR with our allies in challenging and remote areas."

SAREX Alaska MAJAID 2013 was designed to exercise the capabilities of Arctic SAR organizations and associated authorities through live training within a remote Arctic environment. Approximately 100 CAF members from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at 19 Wing Comox, 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at 17 Wing Winnipeg, and 436 Transport Squadron and the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre, both based at 8 Wing Trenton, joined forces with a variety of U.S. Air Force squadrons, the Alaska Air National Guard and U.S. Army units.

"Coordinating a large event like this gave us a chance to learn from each other and build on our already strong working relationship with our American SAR colleagues," said Major Dennis Scharf, Detachment Commander, 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron. "The success of this cross-border coordinated exercise demonstrates to Americans and Canadians alike that despite vast distance and challenging geography, SAR responses can be successful in the Arctic."

SAR is a top priority for the CAF, which provides aeronautical and maritime SAR services in some of the most remote locations in the Arctic. The CAF remain committed to working with international partners to provide an effective SAR response in the most difficult of conditions and harshest of environments. To this end, Canada also works with its Arctic neighbours through the Arctic Council, the premier intergovernmental forum for Arctic issues that bring together representatives of the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) and six Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations.

The CAF supports the Government of Canada's interaction with the Arctic Council Member States through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and in accordance with Canada's Arctic Foreign Policy.

Note to Editors / News Directors:

For more information on Search and Rescue: Search and Rescue

For imagery: CJOC imagery and SAREX MAJAID 2013 imagery

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