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8 Wing welcomes squadron home from Iraq, Syria

Personnel from 437 Transport Squadron are greeted by MP Neil Ellis, along with local military and political officials upon their return from Operation IMPACT in Iraq and Syria.

8 Wing Trenton welcomed the return of a CC-150 Polaris aircraft, crew and support personnel from 437 Transport Squadron, who had been deployed on Operation Impact over the past four years.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis was first in line to welcome and congratulate the personnel as they arrived at 8 Wing Trenton Monday.

“I was so happy to be at 8 Wing Trenton this morning to welcome members of 437 Squadron back home,” Ellis said.

437 Squadron was deployed as a part of Operation Impact, providing refuelling for the global coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since October 2014.

“Thank you to everyone who served on this very important operation, and to all those who have served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces across Canada and the world.”

This marks the official end of 437 Transport Squadron’s air-to-air refueling contribution to Op IMPACT in Iraq and Syria.

The ceremony included the presentation of General Campaign Stars – Expedition and General Service Medals – Expeditionary to the members of 437 Transport Squadron and the civilian employees in recognition of their work supporting the CC-150 Polaris while it was deployed.

“We are extremely proud of the women and men of 437 Transport Squadron, L3 MAS, and all of the personnel at 8 Wing who supported Operation IMPACT in the Middle East over the last four years,” said Mark Goulden, 8 Wing Commander. “Their dedication and commitment enabled the Coalition Forces by providing an important Air-to-Air refueling capability, which contributed to support of the security forces on the ground.”

Lt.-Col. Diane Baldasaro, Commanding Officer of 437 Transport Squadron said she was “incredibly proud of the efforts the 437 Transport Squadron members and their families positively contributed to Op Impact.

“Our squadron motto is “Omnia Passim” (Anything, Anywhere) and for the nearly five years that we served in this mission, we certainly lived up to those words.”

The CC-150 Polaris flew a total of 1,166 sorties, flew for more than 7,050 hours and delivered more than 65 million pounds of fuel in support of Operation Impact in Iraq and Syria.

The CC-150 Polaris is a multi-purpose, twin-engine, long-range jet aircraft. It can be used for passenger, freight or medical transport and air-to-air refueling. The Polaris can reach a speed of up to 1029 km/h carrying a load of up to 32,000 kilograms. It can carry up to 194 passengers, depending on the particular aircraft tail number and configuration.

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 Hornets.
The Polaris MRTT is capable of transferring 36,000 kilograms of fuel to receiving aircraft over a journey of 4,630 kilometers. One Polaris tanker can ferry a flight of four CF-18 Hornets non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.

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