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Armed forces converge on Smithers

Local airport staging ground for firefighting support
Members of the British Columbia Forest Service pick up their bags after being dropped off by a Sea King in support of OP LENTUS, British Colombia, 21 August, 2018. Photo by Cpl Jeffrey Clement 19 Wing Imaging © 2018, DND-MDN Canada

Canadian Armed Forces members from six bases across the country converged on Smithers last week, part of the federal response to the provincial government’s request for assistance in dealing with the multitude of wildfires in B.C. this year.

In all, 35 personnel arrived, a complement that included aircrew for three aircraft, aircraft mechanics, ground service personnel, support staff and headquarters personnel.

The closest personnel came from Canadian Forces Based (CFB) Comox and CFB on Vancouver Island and the farthest from CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia.

Other personnel came from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, CFB Trenton in Ontario and CFB Bagotville in Quebec.

The aircraft arriving in Smithers were a CH 124 Sea King helicopter, a CH 146 Griffon helicopter and a multi—engine CC 130J Hercules transport.

The Sea King and the Griffon both flew out of Terrace last week as well, flying firefighters and equipment to Dease Lake and to Watson Lake.

Top, a Canadian Armed Forces CC 130J Hercules transport is based in Smithers, part of the federal response to the wildfire situation. It’s being used to move firefighters and equipment. This photo shows some Australian firefighters being moved from Smithers to Abbotsford after a couple of weeks on the fire line. 19 Wing Public Affairs Photo
CH-146 Griffon takes off from Smithers airport in support firefiighting operations in the region. Canadian Armed Forces personnel from across the country are based at the Smithers airport. Cpl Jeffrey Clement Photo