Edmonton, Alberta – The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are sending approximately 225 additional members to British Columbia to assist in the ongoing emergency response to the wildfires. This follows an additional Request for Federal Assistance from the RCMP.
The Edmonton-based soldiers are mainly from the 3rd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force West. Under operational control of the Commander of Joint Task Force Pacific, these members will assist the RCMP in providing information to the public, as well as observation and reporting tasks at assigned points along access roads in affected areas. They will also assist with the ground evacuation of persons in distress and the ground delivery of essential aid to affected areas.
The men and women of the CAF are ready to support and serve alongside our federal, provincial, and municipal partners who are working diligently in service of those citizens in need.
“The addition of soldiers and equipment from CFB Edmonton to conduct activities in support of the RCMP and our provincial partners demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of those affected by the wildfires in BC. The Canadian Armed Forces are always ready and proud to assist Canadians in need.” – Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander Joint Task Force Pacific
“The most important thing 3rd Canadian Division/Joint Task Force West troops can be asked to do is assist Canadians in their time of need. That is exactly what we are doing today as we dispatch these Regular, Reserve and Canadian Rangers members in support of the Government of British Columbia’s evacuation and firefighting efforts.” – Brigadier-General Trevor Cadieu, Commander 3rd Canadian Division/Joint Task Force West
- These personnel are joining approximately 150 CAF members who are already in British Columbia assisting the province in its emergency response to the wildfires. This will bring the total CAF contribution to approximately 375 personnel.
- Joint Task Force (West) maintains two Immediate Response Units (IRUs). CAF members are from the IRU (West) which is based in Edmonton, Alberta, and is made up of members from the 1 Combat Engineer Regiment and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Given the changing situation and the Request for Federal Assistance from the RCMP, the deployment of these elements is necessary in accordance with the CAF contingency plan for Operation LENTUS.
- Elements of the IRU Vanguard Company and a Forward Support Group from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group based in Edmonton, Alberta, have deployed, as well as Reservists from 39 Mechanized Brigade Group and a number of Canadian Rangers.
- The CAF is also providing the Province of B.C. with more versatile airlift capabilities. The Royal Canadian Air Force has sent an additional CC-130J Hercules aircraft to replace the CC-177 Globemaster III. Coupled with the CH-147 Chinooks and CH-146 Griffons, the CAF are providing flexible airlift solutions to support the firefighting efforts.
- CAF assistance in support of the Province of British Colombia’s emergency response is undertaken as part of Operation LENTUS, the CAF contingency plan that outlines the joint response to provide support for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response to provincial and territorial authorities in the case of a major natural disaster.
National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces