Canada’s Department of National Defence said on April 17 that it is deploying some 60 airmen from Tactical Helicopter Squadron 408 to northern Iraq to ensure tactical support and protection of Canadian advisers in the fight against the Islamic State.
“Personnel of 408 Squadron will fly and maintain up to four CH-146 Griffon helicopters, co-located with the Canadian-led Coalition Role 2 medical facility, at Camp Érable, Iraq,” the ministry said.
The squadron will provide force protection and in-theatre tactical transport for Canadian troops near Erbil.
Members of the Alberta-based squadron are relieving the Tactical Helicopter Squadron 430, which deployed to Iraq in early October 2016.
In March, Canada announced the extension of Operation IMPACT, which is the country’s military contribution to the US-led coalition against IS.
The Ministry of Defense noted at the time that Canadian Special Operations forces had begun providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces in Mosul.
At present, some 830 Canadian military personnel are deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation IMPACT.
–reporting by Anna Varfolomeeva