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On the morning of Aug. 19, 2019, a contingent of approximately 60 members of 2 Air Expeditionary Wing departed Bagotville, Que., for Operation Reassurance in Romania.
2 Wing is sending an Air Force Activation Surge Team (AFAST) to Romania to prepare for the arrival of the Air Task Force (ATF). ATF-Romania is the air component of Operation Reassurance, Canada’s contribution to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
“2 Wing’s mission is to maximize the expeditionary capability of the Royal Canadian Air Force by providing tailor-made, fast and efficient support during deployments,” said Col Luc Girouard, commander of 2 Air Expeditionary Wing. “I have every confidence that our team will be able to respond to the challenges that will be presented to them. Canada is a proud supporter of NATO and 2 Wing is pleased to be able to contribute to measures to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe”
As outlined in its defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada is committed to the principle of collective defence of the alliance, which is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty. The ATF-Romania mission demonstrates that Canada takes its responsibility to contribute to efforts to deter aggression by potential adversaries in all domains seriously.
2 Air Expeditionary Wing
2 Wing consists of five units and has an operational, command and control, logistics and support structure that allows it to be self-sustaining and deployable at any time in response to government requests. Two of 2 Wing’s units are located at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., and 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., respectively, and provide deployable technical capabilities in the communications and engineering fields.
Although 2 Wing was created primarily to support expeditionary air operations overseas, domestic operations (Operation Lentus) are now part of its repertoire. For example, 2 Wing coordinated air operations in support of civilian authorities to counter floods in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario last April while also providing assistance to forest fires in Ontario and Alberta throughout the summer.
2 Wing regularly participates in international exercises and also supports the following on-demand operations for both initial activation and other needs: Operation Reassurance (Romania), Operation Cadence (G7 Summit), and Operation Impact (Iraq). In particular, 2 Wing provides key expertise for military humanitarian missions, such as Operation Renaissance, to assess the state of local infrastructure and identify needs in the event of a Canadian mission that includes an air component.
“2 Wing is the tip of the spear of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Girouard. “Our members can be deployed very quickly and must maintain a high level of readiness at all times to be ready to answer the call at home and abroad. It is this readiness and extensive training that will allow them to successfully activate the aerodrome and pave the way for the arrival of the Air Task Force.”
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has members serving on Operation Reassurance in Central and Eastern Europe. They are there as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures. These measures aim to reinforce NATO’s collective defence. It also shows the strength of Allied solidarity.
On June 29, 2019, the Government of Canada announced that the CAF would deploy an Air Task Force to Romania. This fall, up to 135 members of the RCAF and five CF-188 Hornet aircraft will deploy to conduct assurance and deterrence measures as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission.
Canada is a strong supporter of NATO and is committed to doing its part to help NATO allies and partner nations. The CAF is a major contributor to NATO operations and exercises and has been fully engaged since NATO was founded in 1949. The CAF is committed to unity, security, and stability on both sides of the Atlantic.