06/03/2014: Aircrews from the 94th Airlift Wing, 934th Airlift Wing, 302nd Airlift Wing and the 914th Airlift Wing attend a mass pre-flight briefing detailing the day’s mission at Edmonton International Airport, Alberta, Canada.
Seven C-130 Hercules prepare to take off from Edmonton International Airport and fly to Cold Lake Air Weapons Range as part of Maple Flag 47. Maple Flag is an international exercise designed to enhance the interoperability of aircrews, maintainers and support specialists in a simulated combat environment.
Credit:4th Combat Camera Squadron:5/26/14
According to a Canadian Air Force Release prior to the event:
Exercise Maple Flag 47 will bring together 650 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft, as well as personnel from allied partner countries, to engage in air and ground combat training.
The exercise prepares participants for global operations, enables joint operations training within the Canadian Armed Forces, and fosters multi-national coordination and cooperation.
This year’s Maple Flag will be held at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, over a single period of two and a half weeks: May 16 to June 2, 2014. The schedule will focus primarily on support to Exercise Wing Warrior at 4 Wing and Exercise Maple Resolve, which will take place in Wainwright, Alberta.
Maple Flag and Wing Warrior also support the training and confirmation for Air Task Force 1401 – an RCAF task force that will be on high readiness following the completion of the exercise. This is part of the RCAF’s new managed readiness plan to ensure its ability to respond rapidly around the world.
“In today’s security environment, high readiness is fundamental to peace and stability, which makes training of this kind essential,” said Major-General Pierre St-Amand, the commander of 1 Canadian Division and the Canadian NORAD Region, which are both headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We always look to maximize international participation in Maple Flag, but we remain committed to ensuring this exercise offers the fullest training value with an increased focus on joint operations with the Canadian Army.”
Maple Flag will include activities in areas such as command and control; air-to-air and air-to-surface operations; air-to-air refuelling; airborne early warning and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; tactical airlift; and tactical aviation.
RCAF aircraft currently confirmed for participation in Maple Flag include CH-146 Griffon tactical helicopters, CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, CC-130J Hercules transport aircraft, CC-130T Hercules and CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft, CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft and CC-138 Twin Otter transport aircraft.
For an article, which looks at the role of exercises in training 21st century forces, see the following: