Technicians prepare Griffons for theatre
After the Minister of National Defence announced in November that Canada would deploy eight CH-146 Griffon helicopters as part of the Joint Task Force - Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) - Air Wing, 1 Wing Kingston, Ont., began preparing the aircraft for the deployment. A dedicated team of maintainers - regular and reserve force - at 438 Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères (438 ETAH) in Saint Hubert, Que., has worked non-stop to help accomplish this goal.
"The methodical process used to carry out the work looks like an assembly line," said Captain Francois Langlois, 438 ETAH aircraft maintenance engineering officer. "Every station is tasked with an assignment which reduces the down time and accelerates the modification process."
The modification line at 438 ETAH was tasked with the job of modifying and installing mission kits--re required for operational activities overseas-on the aircraft. The technicians also removed equipment used domestically but deemed unnecessary for the deployment.
The Griffon will act as escort aircraft for the recently acquired CH-147 D Chinook helicopters. The Griffons and Chinooks directly support the new air capabilities which were conditions set out in the 2008 Parliamentary motion extending Canada's military mission in Afghanistan until 2011. These air resources were one of the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan, headed by the Honourable John Manley.
"The personnel of 438 ETAH take pride in their contribution to this particular operation. It gives us great sense of accomplishment as well as our share of participation in the mission to help protect our troops operating in Afghanistan," added Capt Langlois.
Source: 2Lt Dave Andrews - Canadian Armed Forces
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