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Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support to Hurricane Irma and Maria relief in the Caribbean

From September 9 to October 15, 2017, the CAF supported Hurricane Irma and Maria relief in the Caribbean under Operation RENAISSANCE IRMA MARIA. The CAF conducted this operation in support of Global Affairs Canada.

Maritime Task Force

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St. John’s and its CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment deployed on this operation. Following Hurricane Irma, it helped with relief efforts in the Turks and Caicos. There it removed debris, restored power and water sources, scouted the area, delivered water to locals, and assessed underwater damage.

Following Hurricane Maria, St. John’s transited to Dominica. There it cleared debris and conducted repairs on land. The Sea King delivered water and supplies and transported personnel. It also conducted four medical evacuations shortly after it arrived.

In total, the Maritime Task Force produced about 27 000 litres of water using St. John’s desalination system, and delivered about 157 000 lbs of cargo.

Air Task Force

A CC-177 Globemaster provided airlift support to American relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Based out of Barbados, two CC-130J Hercules aircraft provided airlift support to partner nations. This support included airlifting the Jamaican Defence Force’s Disaster Assistance Response Team and equipment to Dominica.

Also based out of Barbados, a CP-140 Aurora captured imagery of affected areas. Partner nations used this imagery to assess and respond to the aftermath of the hurricanes.

A CC-177 Globemaster supported France by transporting equipment and supplies from Bordeaux to Guadeloupe. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it flew 66 evacuees and two service dogs from St. Maarten and the Turks and Caicos to Toronto.

A CC-130J Hercules flew humanitarian supplies from Mississauga to the British Virgin Islands. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it transported Canadians citizens and government officials to Toronto.

In total, the Air Task Force evacuated about 300 people and transported about 847 000 lbs of cargo.

Joint Task Force

The CAF had a command, control, and liaison team in Barbados. Its role was to facilitate CAF support to partners in the region. It also supported Global Affairs Canada disaster assessment.

Mission context

In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria followed a few weeks later. These large-scale storms caused widespread damage and a need for humanitarian aid and relief, including aid workers, fresh water and supplies.

External links

Global Affairs Canada

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