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8 Wing Trenton Commander takes the salute at Cease Ops ceremony in Kandahar

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN: Major Spencer Selhi, Commanding Officer Tactical Airlift Unit paraded the airmen and airwomen of his unit under the nose of the venerable CC-130J Hercules aircraft during a cease ops ceremony that took place Nov. 16, 2011 in dusky twilight of a dusty evening at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Photo Credit: MCpl Dan Shouinard, Sr Mission Transition Task Force

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN: Colonel Sean Friday, Wing Commander 8 Wing Trenton, receives military compliments in the form of a General Salute from the airmen and airwomen of the Tactical Airlift Unit during the TAU's cease-ops ceremony on November 16, 2011 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The TAU undertook flying operations in the Afghan theatre of operations for an extended 10-year period and so the airmen and airwomen of the unit proudly sported badges, which read, "first in last out". The largest wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force, 8 Wing was primarily responsible for the force generation of troops to support the TAU. Photo Credit: MCpl Dan Shouinard, Sr Mission Transition Task Force

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN: Making an early morning departure from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, the last CC-130J Hercules aircraft departed on November 17, 2011 after 10 years of aviation excellence in the Afghanistan theatre of operations. Photo Credit: MCpl Dan Shouinard, Sr Mission Transition Task Force

The last remaining Canadian CC130 Hercules aircraft departed Kandahar, Thursday, Nov. 17 after 10 years of continuous service in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan.  This milestone in Canadian Air Mobility Operations marks the close-out of the longest continuous Tactical Airlift operation in the Royal Canadian Air Force history.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) J-model Hercules aircraft and crew is in India on a friendly visit from Nov. 17-20 while on its return journey to Canada. The aircraft is flown by 436 Transport Squadron, from Canada’s largest airbase, 8 Wing Trenton.

“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 CC130J around the globe,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Keiver, Commanding Officer 436 Squadron. “We are also honoured to be here in New Delhi to recognize and commemorate our squadron’s historical links with India.”

During the visit, RCAF personnel will be meeting 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,” LCol Keiver. “It is fitting that it returns from its most recent and significant mission through the place where it began 67 years ago.”

The visit will allow Canadian airmen and airwomen 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, will be 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 CC130J Hercules 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 the forces. The team is expected to arrive at CFB Trenton on November 30.
On 7 July 2011, 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 2011 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 2011.

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  1. SpyRos says:

    Well done! Good wishes and God speed home.

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