Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 18, 2011 17:28 ET

Statement by Minister Mackay on the Deployment of CF-18S to Enforce a No-Fly Zone Over Libya

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today:

"The UN Security Council yesterday passed Resolution 1973 (2011); an international acknowledgement of the need to protect Libya's civilian population against systematic violations of human rights and crimes against humanity. 

Canada will work with our Allies to ensure the protection of the civilian population of Libya. Our government is contributing six CF-18 fighter aircraft to the Allied efforts in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libyan territory. 

Our fighter jets, as well as refuelling and strategic airlift aircraft and approximately 140 pilots and support personnel, have deployed from CFB Bagotville and will be operational in the coming days. This deployment is in addition to HMCS Charlottetown, with a crew of 240 sailors, which is already patrolling the waters north of the Libyan coast as part of Operation MOBILE.

Our response to the instability in Northern Africa demonstrates once again that our Canadian Forces are a highly trained and motivated team that is ready to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice. I am sure I speak for all Canadians when I say how proud I am that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen stand for freedom and democracy.

Today's deployment shows the readiness and professionalism of the Canadian Forces as we work with our allies in this important mission to protect Libya's civilian population against tyranny. The agility of our Canadian Forces personnel and the support of their families make this rapid deployment possible."

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