Operation IMPACT – Air Operations, Kuwait | Feb. 12, 2015


03/03/2015: As part of Operation IMPACT, a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft prepares for take-off in Kuwait.

The Aircrew observe landscape below after take-off from the window of the CP-140.

Credit: Canadian Ministry of Defence:2/12/15

  • A CF-188 Hornet fighter jet is prepared for its next mission – missiles are loaded.
  • Pilots walk towards the CF-188 and the aircraft prepares for take-off.
  • The CF-188 is shown in flight.
  • A CC-150 Polaris is seen sitting on the tarmac. The Polaris is then prepared for flight and takes off. The Polaris is then seen performomg  air-to-air refuelling of a CF-188.
  • Finally, a pair of CF-188 are shown in flight.

And in this Washington Post story published January 26, 2015, the role of Canadian Special Forces in the operation is highlighted.

Canadian Special Operations troops have engaged Islamic State militants in Iraq in firefights at least three times in recent days while training Kurdish troops, a turn of events that has raised questions about how the military advising mission in Iraq may be evolving.

A week after an announcement that Canadian forces had engaged in their first firefight in Iraq, Navy Capt. Paul Forget told reporters Monday that they had fired on Islamic State militants twice more in recent days. In each case, Canadian officials have said, their troops have only opened fired after coming under attack.

“In both cases, Canadian Special Operations forces, again acting in self-defense, effectively returned fire, neutralizing the threat,” Forget said Monday.

The incidents, however, illustrate how close Canadian forces are coming to enemy fighters. Canadian troops are now engaged in guiding bombs toward targets with laser guidance, a level of involvement that is not believed to have been authorized by U.S. commanders. Most of the airstrikes are carried out by U.S. aircraft, although a variety of partner nations also involved.

According to a Canadian Air Force description of the CC-150:

The CC-150 Polaris (Airbus A-310) is a multi-purpose, twin-engine, long-range jet aircraft that can be converted for passenger, freight or medical transport and air-to-air refueling (or any combination of these configurations).

The Polaris can reach a speed of up to Mach 0.84 (1029 km/h) carrying a load of up to 32,000 kilograms (70,560 pounds). Passenger loads range from 28 to 194 people, depending on the particular aircraft tail number and configuration.

The five Canadian Forces CC-150 Polaris aircraft are stationed at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario. During its years in service, the Polaris fleet has transported vast amounts of supplies to Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on operational missions all over the globe.

In October 2005, two Polaris carried the advance party and main body of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Pakistan to conduct a humanitarian operation in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. In 2014, the CC-150 transported Canadian soldiers to eastern and central Europe as part of Canada’s contribution to North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) reassurance measures towards Op Reassurance.

The CC-150 Polaris (Airbus A-310) long-range transport aircraft was in service with the Canadian Armed Forces in southwest Asia in 2001, when a Polaris deployed with about 40 personnel to the Persian Gulf region on Operation APOLLO. The Strategic Airlift Detachment moved approximately 3.5 million kilograms (about 7.72 million pounds) of cargo and more than 2,300 passengers during Op APOLLO.

During Operation ATHENA, the CC-150 Polaris fleet operated between Canada and Afghanistan in support of Joint Task Force Afghanistan moving men, women and material over thousands of kilometres.

As part of the Air Force Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program, two CC-150 Polaris aircraft have been converted to strategic air-to-air refuellers for Canada’s fleet of CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft. The Polaris MRTT is capable of transferring 36,000 kilograms (79,380 pounds) of fuel to receiving aircraft over a journey of 4,630 kilometres (2,875 statute miles).

Consequently, one Polaris tanker can ferry a flight of four CF-18 Hornets non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. When configured for VIP passengers, the CC-150 Polaris is used to transport high-ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries, including the Prime Minister, the Governor General and members of the Royal Family across Canada and around the world.