Operation PRESENCE Mali - Captain Paronuzzi

Transcript - Captain Paronuzzi

Morning I'm captain Paronuzzi, I'm a CH-146 Griffin pilot. I work for the Canadian Forces for OP PRESENCE and we're here to support the mission in Mali Africa for the UN MINUSMA mission.

Today we'll talk about the Griffons role as 'forward air evac' medivac mission that were going to do here. So when we get a call out, it will be in the form of a nine liner. The U.N. will call our operations and advise us that there's an injury out in the area. We'll be based here in Camp Kaster in the Gao airfield. So in this scenario you have a point of injury just across the river along one of the main supply routes. So when we get the call. My job in the Griffon is to coordinate with the tower, coordinate with operations. We'll call Tower and depart. The Chinook will actually lead us out-bound and the Griffons will escort on left and right of the 'medevac bird' which is the Chinook. We'll proceed towards the point of injury, at which point the Chinook will decide where to anchor, about a point just off-set, but still within defensive range of the guns onboard the Griffon helicopters.

The Griffons will proceed in towards the point of injury, establish comms with the call sign on the ground. In this case likely scenario that they hit an IED and there's injured troops on the ground.

They'll give us a SA (situational awareness) based on what they think the enemy presence is if there is any. Our job is to go in and secure the area, and get eyes on for ourselves so that we can pass proper information to the medivac aircraft, and what they can expect when they land. We'll do several orbits and determine the state of the situation on the ground; Where we think the casualty collection point should be in reference to the nine line grid that we get; and then we'll provide the overwatch as we call in the Chinook medevac bird.

Chinook will land at the casualty collection point here. And the force protection and the medics will come out and start doing dialogue with the UN troops on the ground and doing the casualty transfer. Once we're happy with that and the Chinook is ready to lift, they'll advise us and we'll prepositioned ourselves to escort the Chinook home. The Chinook will pick up and depart with the two Griffons, escorting left and right back to camp Kaster.

After giving the estimated time of arrival to our ops, they'll have already coordinated for the ambulance to meet the helicopter there and transfer the casualties. Once again over the role two to the hospital.

At that point, our job is done. The Griffins will come back, land at camp Kaster and we will reset for the next following mission. It's my second deployment with the Canadian Forces. This time it's a UN mission and we're saving lives.

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