Royal Canadian Air Force's Task Force Canuck visits India
Following a friendly visit to India, a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-130J Hercules aircraft is flying home to CFB Trenton.
The Herc and its aircrew left India Nov. 20 after following the recently concluded mission to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The aircraft is flown by 436 Transport Squadron, from 8 Wing Trenton.
The departure from Kandahar of the last remaining CC130 Hercules aircraft after 10 years of continuous service in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan is a monumental milestone in Canadian air mobility operations as it marks the close-out of the longest continuous tactical airlift operation in RCAF history.
Task Force Canuck operated the CC 130 Hercules transport aircraft to transport CF personnel and equipment in and out of Kandahar Airfield, and fly throughout Afghanistan in support of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) missions.
This aircraft is the final Canadian Hercules to leave Kandahar as part of the Canadian Task Force, Task Force Canuck that recently completed its 10-years of continuous service in support of the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
"We take pride in having served in Kandahar and are truly honoured to be the first in the Royal Canadian Air Force to fly the CC-130J around the globe," said Lt. Col. Colin Keiver, Commanding Officer 436 Squadron.
"We were honoured to be in New Delhi to recognize and commemorate our squadron's historical links with India."
During the visit, RCAF personnel met with their counterparts in the Indian Air Force for an enriching cultural exchange.
"India was where the squadron was formed as a Tactical Air Transport unit and where it conducted its first operational missions as an RCAF squadron,"
Said Keiver. "It's fitting that it returns from its most recent and significant mission through the place where it began 67 years ago."
The visit allowed Canadian aircrew to pay tribute in a solemn ceremony of remembrance to the 15 RCAF veterans, who are interred at the Delhi War Cemetery.
Delegations from 435 and 436 Squadrons, both formed in India during the Second World War in support of the China-Burma-India theatre, were in attendance as well as Canada's High Commissioner, representation from other defence staffs, and the Indian Air Force.
On its way back home, the aircraft, crew and passengers are stopping in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines to meet with their Air Force counterpart in the region to help further boost the existing vibrant relations between our forces.
On July 7, the Canadian combat mission in Afghanistan ended with the handover of the Task Force Kandahar area of responsibility to a U.S. Army task force, and Operation ATHENA entered its last phase: "mission transition."
The last rotation of Joint Task Force Afghanistan is the Mission Transition Task Force, deployed from July to December to wrap up all CF activities at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) and in Kandahar Province. During this period, the Air Wing continued to conduct flying operations for ISAF Regional Command (South) while gradually drawing down its personnel and equipment, with the return to Canada expected to be complete in December.
The team is expected to arrive at CFB Trenton on Nov. 30.
Task Force Canuck coming home - Trenton Trentonian - Ontario, CA