Canadian military personal and equipment are beginning to arrive at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) begins mountain training in the Okanagan.
Today (March 11), the RCAF’s C-17 Globemaster landed at the airport, bringing along the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and three CH-146 Griffon helicopters. From Kelowna, the helicopters are set to be taken to Penticton where the squadron will take off.
Another day, another cool plane. The @RCAF_ARC C-17 Globemaster arrived at YLW bringing essential personnel & equipment (3 helicopters!) for mountain training in the Okanagan.
Keep your eyes to the skies over the next few weeks for some incredible planespotting!
— Kelowna International Airport (@ylwkelowna) March 11, 2021
Exercise FAUCON ALPIN is part of the squadron’s training regime to ensure operational readiness, including operating in a mountain environment. The training will begin today and continue until March 30. Communities in the Okanagan Valley can expect to see and hear helicopters, however, the squadron will do everything possible to reduce their impact on communities, according to an RCAF news release.
“Mountain flying presents a variety of challenges for helicopter operations, and it is crucial that crews receive regular training to ensure they can conduct mountain operations safely and effectively,” said the Canadian Armed Forces in a news release.
The 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron is normally based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Quebec. Their principal role is supporting Canadian Army units of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, and land forces in Eastern Canada.
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