2 Wing goes North

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News Article / March 17, 2021

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2 Wing Bagotville Public Affairs

On March 17, 2021, a small group of personnel from 2 Operations Support Squadron (2 OSS), based at 2 Wing Bagotville, Québec, completed the last of a series of Canadian aerodrome reconnaissance missions north of the 60th parallel.

“This is the last reconnaissance mission of the year, but next year we'll continue updating the information that we have on those facilities where aircraft can be deployed in northern Canada,” says Captain Guillaume Fortin, 2 OSS operations assistant.

Arctic territories increasingly garner the interest of several countries in the world, so late in 2019, the Royal Canadian Air Force tasked 2 Wing with establishing a list of accessible infrastructure surrounding aerodromes in northern Canada.

“Our mission is to update the information that we already have on the various locations. We must establish, for example, the type of aircraft that can be deployed at these locations, the kind of supply services that can be offered there, as well as the possibility of housing people, and the number of people that can be housed,” explains Captain Fortin.

This information gathering initiative will last at least one more year. It will allow for greater agility in deploying aircraft in the northern regions, which military strategists call “agile dispersed operations”, or ADO.

When they complete their mission this year, the members of 2 Wing will have examined 18 facilities. The aerodromes are mostly located in Canada’s northern territories, such as Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. However, some facilities are in northern Québec and Manitoba.

“We send in a small team normally, made up of five people, who have expertise in various areas. We prepare visits in collaboration with Joint Task Force (North). Because of COVID-19, we had to adapt our approach in order to conform to various preventive measures in place wherever we went. The visits are always done in accordance with local authorities to limit risks and ensure better collaboration,” adds Captain Fortin.

During the writing of this article, the reconnaissance team was making its way to Nunavut, to complete this year’s last mission and examine five aerodromes.


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