DT News interview: Major Tim Gunner from the Tactical Airlift Detachment in Goma, DRC on Op PRESENCE

Video / December 16, 2021


(G) The Canadian Armed Forces have operated a Tactical Airlift Detachment in Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support peace operations in the area as part of Operation PRESENCE.

Today we’re joined by the Air Detachment Commander, Major Tim Gunner, to tell us more.

Thanks for joining us today.

So Major Gunner, what personnel and resource support has the CAF been providing when flying these missions out of Goma?

(TG) So, the Government of Canada and the CAF have committed a CC130J transport aircraft. Also known as the Hercules, this aircraft can carry up to 40,000 pounds of cargo or, cargo and pax configured, can carry up to 114 passengers. In support of this mission, the CAF has also deployed 30 personnel of a variety of specialties. Of those members, 25 percent are female in accordance with the UN Security Council 1325, which promotes the involvement of women in the peace process and the peace support operations. Our dept. composition has been well received here, in Goma.

(G) That’s great and can you give us some specific highlights with regard to what’s been accomplished during this particular deployment as part of Operation PRESENCE?

(TG) This is my third deployment on Operation PRESENCE, and it is the most successful thus far. We've currently lifted 210,000 pounds of cargo and 67 passengers, as compared to 260,000 pounds of cargo last episode. It's been very unique to see what that cargo has been this episode. We've seen a lot of defensive stores, which is to support the defensive positions of the United Nations in the region.

(G) And how has the team been received while operating out of Goma and across other African regions?

(TG) So, this is the second deployment for Op PRESENCE to Goma, DRC. But I can tell you that the local population is definitely accustomed to seeing the Canadian flag. Not only is there already an enduring mission here, Op CROCODILE, most local population has a Canadian connection. We often hear that they either have a member of their family or they have travelled to Canada, either to Ontario or Montréal. Relationships are incredibly important and we've established many good relationships, not only with the local population but with the United Nations. Without these relationships, our mission here would be impossible.

(G) Well Major Gunner thank you so much again for joining us today.

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