Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Air Force Public Affairs

Air Force Public Affairs

July 06, 2011 15:31 ET

Minister of National Defence Unveils Camp Mirage Memorial Cairn Exhibit

TRENTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2011) - 8 WING CFB - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, officially unveiled the Camp Mirage Memorial Cairn during a ceremony held today at the 8 Wing/CFB Trenton National Air Force Museum of Canada.

The exhibit, a three-part pyramid-like granite structure, has been installed within the Trenton museum in a manner that recreates its placement at its original location within the Southwest Asia operating base. In Camp Mirage, the cairn was placed outdoors on a concrete platform surrounded by a perimeter of grass and stone tiles. Brass plates show the names of all the fallen, and a bronze casting of the bas-relief Fallen, created by Canadian artist Silvia Pecota, adorns the monument.

"The monument served as a place where personnel from Camp Mirage could gather to honour, remember, and grieve our fallen," said Minister Mackay. "There is no doubt that Trenton has an intimate connection to our military. The monument is now fittingly displayed at the National Air Force Museum of Canada where it will be for us, and for future generations, to remember the sacrifices of some of the bravest Canadians."

The idea of a memorial monument at Camp Mirage was born in 2005 and the cairn was officially in place one year later. It was moved to Canada following the closure of Camp Mirage, and will remain active and updated to reflect the complete list of fallen Canadians since the beginning of the Afghan mission.

"Camp Mirage, an air mobility base, was staffed overwhelmingly by Air Force personnel, many of them from this Wing. Those intense Air Force bonds are why I find it so appropriate that this memorial cairn, has found its permanent Canadian home here…at the National Air Force Museum, at another air mobility base," said Lieutenant-General André Deschamps, the Chief of the Air Staff.

From 2002 until Camp Mirage's closure, it was the main staging base for flights in and out of Afghanistan and provided key support to Canadian Forces troops operating in this theatre of war. Various strategic and tactical aircraft were operated from Camp Mirage, including the CP-140 Aurora, the CC-130 Hercules, the CC-150 Polaris, and the CC-177 Globemaster III.

CF aircraft flew more than 22,000 flying hours during more than 4,500 missions, carried more than 78,000,000 pounds of cargo and more than 244,000 passengers in direct support of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Note to the Editors / News Directors: A background document discussing Camp Mirage is available at: http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/v2/nr-sp/index-eng.asp?id=11295 Information about the National Air Force Museum of Canada is available at: http://www.airforcemuseum.ca

Imagery will be available on the 8 Wing Trenton photo gallery: http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/8w-8e/index-eng.asp

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