It has been 21 years since the distinctive ‘wokka-wokka’ sound of Canadian Chinooks was last heard in Canadian skies.This year, however, the big, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopters will be heard once again, especially over Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont. This time, though, Petawawa will not simply be a waypoint for the Chinooks while en route to tasks in support of the Canadian Army; it will be the permanent home for the new fleet of CH-147F Chinook helicopters.
A CH-147F Chinook helicopter undergoes flight testing. Credit: BoeingOn May 18, 2012, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced the reactivation of 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron as home to Canada’s new fleet of 15 advanced CH-147F Chinook helicopters. The unit will fall under the command of 1 Wing Kingston, Ont., as do the other RCAF tactical aviation squadrons.The personnel and aircraft of 450 Squadron will regularly operate across the country in continuous support of Army readiness and training activities. To this end, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) is the Army’s designated formation to specialize in training for and conducting air mobile operations. Given its motto of By Air to Battle, it is fitting that 450 Squadron be based at the home of 2 CMBG’s air mobile specialists.The CH-147F brings impressive capability on its own, but in many scenarios, its relevance and impact to overall air power effects will only be achieved as part of a team effort with other assets. With Chinooks added to the mix, Canada’s tactical aviation enterprise will continue to fulfill its role of integrating with the Canadian Army to provide aerial mobility, reconnaissance and firepower.Source: aviation.ca
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