Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 06, 2010 18:06 ET

The Canadian Forces Complete Relief Operation in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2010) - The Canadian Forces today marked the completion of Operation Lama, their 13-day hurricane-relief operation in support of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, at an event held here at Canadian Forces Station St. John's.

"Canadians and Canadian Forces personnel assigned to this relief operation are proud of the assistance provided to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian Forces were on the ground within hours of the Province's request for assistance and worked diligently to assist the people most affected by Hurricane Igor," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Cabinet Minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works and Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness (Acting), joined with Brigadier-General Anthony Stack, Deputy Commander of Land Forces Atlantic Area and commander of Operation Lama, to say farewell to troops preparing to board a military flight home.

"Our residents and members of our provincial workforce have been on the ground since the first drops of rain that marked the approach of Hurricane Igor began to fall over two weeks ago," said Minister Hedderson. "The assistance and expertise of ground troops from Land Forces Atlantic, in addition to the crews of the Canadian Forces naval units and of the accompanying Sea King helicopters, was much appreciated by the people of our province and by our government as we faced the monumental task of recovery from the impacts of the hurricane. The rebuilding process will take some time and I am pleased today to acknowledge the role our Canadian military played in the initial response."

At its peak, Operation Lama involved more than 1,000 regular and reserve personnel from the Navy, Army, and Air Force, who assisted some 40 communities isolated by storm damage left in the wake of Hurricane Igor. Tasks completed by the CF include: construction of 3 temporary bridges; surveys and culvert checks of over 900 kilometres of highway; signage construction; transportation by air, land and sea of personnel, equipment, supplies, fuel, and food; and production and distribution of drinking water.

"Our business is the safety and security of Canada and of all Canadians. As part of Canada Command, Joint Task Force Atlantic was given the mandate to plan and execute this operation. I want to congratulate all who were involved in this important relief operation. We at Canada Command constantly monitor situations that may affect Canadians at home and always stand ready to provide the necessary assistance in coordination with our federal and provincial partners," said Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, Commander of Canada Command.

CF assets deployed during Op Lama included: 4 Engineer Support Regiment (4 ESR), based in Gagetown, NB; a Domestic Response Company composed of over 200 reservists from Newfoundland and Labrador; HMCS St. John's, Fredericton and Montreal; as well as three CH-124 Sea King Helicopters from 12 Wing Shearwater. Air missions were also conducted by CC-177 Globemaster III and CP-140 Aurora aircraft.

"It was my honour to lead this effort on the ground and work with such dedicated and professional CF personnel. We are proud to have been able to assist provincial authorities and the People of Newfoundland and Labrador on their road to recovery, and I thank them for welcoming us so warmly into their communities," said BGen Stack.

Notes to editor / news director: Imagery of Operation Lama, the Whole-of-Government response to Hurricane Igor, can be found at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

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