KAWARTHA LAKES-Residents of Fenelon Falls got an up-close and personal look at the Canadian Armed Forces Chinook helicopters on Friday.
Three of the military machines flew low over the town leaving residents wondering what the heck was going on.
We contacted the Canadian Armed Forces who said the choppers were on their way home from a training mission.
“The aircraft seen on Nov 12 were most likely three CH147F Chinook helicopters from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Petawawa, Ontario. The helicopters were in transit at 1000 feet above ground level from a training event, Exercise STRIKING BAT, in Twentynine Palms, California.” Captain Derek Reid. Public Affairs Officer, 1 Wing Headquarters, Canadian Armed Forces told Kawartha 411 news.
A resident captured the flyby on the video below.
The month-long Exercise STRIKING BAT 21 recently concluded at United States Marine Corps (USMC) Air Ground Combat Centre Twentynine Palms, California. The Royal Canadian Air Force’s largest tactical aviation training event of the year featured three CH147F Chinook and six CH146 Griffon helicopters, and over 300 RCAF personnel according to Cpt. Reid.
From October 14 to November 14, aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel honed their craft in force-on-force exercises, live ammunition gunnery training, mountain flying, and other activities that tested their skills to ensure readiness when called upon to protect Canadians or Canadian interests.
“A key outcome of the exercise was validation of the Canadian Medical Emergency Response Team (CMERT). A Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability that can extract casualties from contested conflict zones, the CMERT integrates experts from health services, force protection, and tactical aviation.” Cpt. Reid told Kawartha 411 News. “While the CMERT package can be tailored to the mission, it generally features a “flying resuscitation room” in a CH147F Chinook, escorted by up to two CH146 Griffons for protection.”
Reid says CMERT Originally stood up and deployed to Mali in 2018 on Operation PRESENCE as part of UN peacekeeping operations. CMERT will be an enduring CAF capability now that it has been validated on STRIKING BAT 21.
The exercise also included participation in the week-long “Marine Warfighter Exercise”, in which the RCAF’s Tactical Aviation Battalion teamed up with the US’s 7th Marine Regiment in a force-on-force battle against other US and international armed forces. This portion of the exercise had land and air forces fighting against a thinking, breathing enemy and in particular put tactical aviation combat skills to the test according to Reid.