May 6, 2014, Ottawa - More than 80 personnel from 424 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron, with their CC-130H Hercules aircraft and CH-146 Griffon helicopters, are conducting a search and rescue (SAR) exercise called TIGEREX 2014 in Gatineau, Quebec from May 5 to 9.
By Carey Fredericks
Throughout the week, multiple simulated SAR scenarios are organized to put the skills of the SAR team to the test. This provides 424 Squadron’s SAR crews, and the crews of partner agencies, invaluable interaction and exposure to how SAR operations are conducted and how they can better work together in responding to life-saving calls. Scenarios throughout the week include a simulated aircraft crash at Mont Cascades, simulated maritime distress at the Cumberland-Masson ferry, and other simulated crash scenarios in more remote locations of the Gatineau hills.
Volunteer SAR organizations such as the Sauvetage et recherche aériens du Québec (SERABEC) and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), with whom 424 Squadron regularly works, are annual participants of TIGEREX. This year's exercise will also include participation of the Sureté du Québec, Ontario Provincial Police, and local paramedics and fire rescue crews from the Gatineau area.
- 424 Squadron is based in 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, and together with 435 Squadron out of 17 Wing Winnipeg, they are responsible for 10,000,000 square kilometres of the Trenton Search and Rescue Region comprising most of the Province of Quebec, all of Ontario, the Prairie Provinces and the entire Arctic.
- Search and rescue (SAR) incidents under the federal SAR mandate are defined as “all aircraft incidents and all marine incidents in waters under federal jurisdiction.” With the exception of federally owned National Parks, the overall responsibility for ground search and rescue rests with the provinces, territories and municipalities. The Canadian Armed Forces may, however, provide assistance to land and inland water rescues when possible.
“Our SAR team from 8 Wing Trenton consistently trains to provide reliable SAR services to Canadians. TIGEREX provides realistic training opportunities for our SAR personnel to maintain and further develop their skills through the enactment of simulated casualties and complex rescue scenarios," said Colonel David Lowthian, Commander 8 Wing Trenton.
“TIGEREX 2014 serves to exercise a multi-day major search with operations taking place away from the Squadron’s main operating base. In such circumstances, our partner organizations from the areas of operation usually help during the search, requiring large scale cooperation and coordination. This exercise provides 424 Squadron great training opportunities and exposure to such an environment,” added Lieutenant-Colonel Jean Bernier, Commanding Officer of 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron.