450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

Squadron badge. Argent in front of a Viking axe and sword in saltire Gules a Viking helmet Or.
Motto: By air to battle
Significance: Since the Vikings are considered to be among the first people to venture forth into unknown and uncharted areas, the Viking motif bears suitable reference to the fact that the squadron was the first Canadian heavy transport helicopter squadron formed to venture into the comparatively new role of logistic air support using helicopters.

450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) is located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa. 450 THS is the Royal Canadian Air Force’s only CH-147F Chinook squadron, and is part of 1 Wing, the home of Canada’s tactical aviation capability. 450 THS members are known as Vikings.

During the Second World War, the squadron number 450 was allocated to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). At the time, Canadian squadrons were numbered from 400 to 449, but in an unusual twist of history the number 450 was later allocated to a Canadian Heavy Transport squadron located in St. Hubert, Quebec, on March 29, 1968. 

The squadron moved to CFB Ottawa (Uplands) in May 1970. On August 1, 1991, the squadron became 450 Composite Helicopter Squadron and then 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron on April 1, 1993. The squadron moved back to 1 Wing in St. Hubert in August 1994.

450 Squadron was formally disbanded on January 1, 1998, but was re-established on May 2, 2012, in order to fly the Canadian Armed Forces’ CH-147F Chinook helicopters. 

The Royal Canadian Air Force accepted the first F-model Chinook on June 24, 2013, at the Boeing manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was officially welcomed to Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa on June 27, 2013.

The CH-147F Chinook is an advanced, multi-mission medium to heavy lift helicopter. It can be used to transport equipment and personnel during domestic or deployed operations, conduct casualty evacuation, and can support search and rescue operations when required.  

450 THS deployed to Gao, Mali, from July 2018 to September 2019 as part of OPERATION PRESENCE in support of the United Nations. 450 along with 408 and 430 Squadrons created the Aviation Battalion providing a forward aeromedical capability known as the Canadian Medical Emergency Response Team (CMERT).

450 Squadron has also conducted many domestic operations in support of Canadians including OPERATION LENTUS, Canadian Armed Forces support to natural disaster response, and OPERATION VECTOR, support to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 response. 450 has conducted multiple training exercises across the country and also recently participated in several major international exercises to train with our allies in places like Twentynine Palms, California, and Fairbanks, Alaska.

The complete squadron history is available on the National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage website.

450 Tactical Aviation Squadron
c/o Canadian Forces Base Petawawa
PO BOX 9999 Stn Main
Petawawa ON  K8H 2X3

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