Thursday, October 25, 2007

Waiting for the Big Bad Bear off the east coast

Further to this post (with video), CF-18s are now positioned at Goose Bay:
Canada has stationed several fighter jets at a central Labrador air base to prepare for a possible response to Russian military exercises in the Arctic.

About six CF-18 fighter jets have been stationed at 5 Wing Goose Bay this week, on standby to intercept any Russian military aircraft that may come close to Canadian or U.S. airspace.

Russian bombers have been testing the North American air defence response, and though the action has not been seen as hostile, Lt.-Col. Brian Bowerman, the acting wing commander, said the Canadian force is alert.

"You have to be ready, and this is what they're doing," he said. "They're practising to be ready if they need to intercept [Russian] aircraft."

The Canadian jets, which have been flying missions from Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay for the last five days, are expected to stay at the base for several weeks. About 50 support personnel have accompanied them...

Beginning in 1985 Goose Bay supported allied military training but the memorandum of understanding expired in March 2006, putting an end to what used to be a permanent allied detachment.

There is no permanent CF-18 presence at the base, which serves as a forward operating location for CFB Bagotville, providing support for that base.

Many countries have faced the same budget restrictions seen in Canada, explains Capt. Tom Burkhart, and have been doing alternative training elsewhere. The base remains a permanent establishment for allied training but none are presently at Goose Bay, he said.
Update: More Bear videos (h/t to Fred).


Blogger John Boudreau - VE8EV said...

I was a little amused when I saw this story come out. The real battle for Arctic sovereignty is going on at the other corner of the country. For the last four months DND has had a squadron of CF-18s, tanker aircraft and Auroras operating out of Inuvik chasing the Russians all over the Arctic. No fanfare, no press releases, no media coverage. A post earlier in the week comments on the newest C-17 making an appearance at Fredericton. What isn't mentioned is that it flew directly to Fredericton from Inuvik and other than a brief appearance there it continues to be tasked with supporting the forward deployment in Inuvik.

If it isn't in the news then as far as most people are concerned it just isn't happening.

Google 'Inuvik' and 'C-17' and you'll see what I mean.

6:12 p.m., October 26, 2007  

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