Search and Rescue (SAR) in central Canada

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Trenton leads and directs all SAR operations in the Trenton search and rescue region (SRR), which covers central Canada. The Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC), based in Winnipeg Manitoba, is responsible for SAR operations in the Trenton SRR.

The Trenton SRR is an area of more than 10 million square kilometres. This is the bulk of Canada's land mass. The Trenton SRR also includes:

  • Hudson's Bay
  • James Bay
  • the Canadian portions of the Great Lakes and the Arctic Ocean

The Trenton SRR extends from Trenton, Ontario on the shore of Lake Ontario, east to Québec City and west to the Alberta–British Columbia border. From south to north, it extends from the Canada–United States border to the North Pole.

Regional SAR response centre

JRCC Trenton is located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, Ontario. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) run it. JRCC Trenton monitors the central region for SAR incidents. It also directs SAR alerts and emergency response in the region.

JRCC Trenton receives about 4000 calls for assistance per year. They break down approximately as follows:

  • 70 percent of the responses are maritime
  • 20 percent air
  • 10 percent humanitarian

CAF SAR units in central Canada

The Trenton SRR has the following primary CAF SAR squadrons:

  • 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario. The squadron flies CC-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft and CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
  • 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba. This squadron flies CC-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft.

Any other CAF or CCG unit may back up the designated SAR units. JRCC Victoria can give them the task of any SAR or SAR-like mission if they are available, suitable, and capable.

CAF assets are tasked to respond to almost 500 SAR missions annually in central Canada.


Department of National Defence

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