NEWS | June 9, 2015

Royal Canadian Air Force marks milestones in fight against ISIL

By U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

OTTAWA, Canada, June 9, 2015 – Canada’s air forces recently reached two significant milestones, surpassing their 1,000th sortie flown and exceeding 100 airstrikes in support of the coalition air campaign in Iraq and Syria, according to a statement from the Canadian defense ministry.

“I am proud of our men and women in uniform who continue to make significant contributions to coalition operations,” said Canadian Minister of National Defence Jason Kenney. “The achievement of these milestones again proves the capability of the Canadian Armed Forces to fight alongside our allies and degrade the capability of” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

As of Saturday, Canadian aircraft had conducted 1,016 sorties. These include 661 sorties by CF-18 Hornet fighters; 185 reconnaissance missions by CP-140 Aurora aircraft; and 170 sorties by CC-150T Polaris aerial refueling aircraft, delivering more than 10 million pounds of fuel to coalition aircraft.

As of Monday, CF-18’s surpassed the mark of 100 airstrikes.

Canadian forces and aircraft first deployed to the Middle East in October to support anti-ISIL operations. In March, the Canadian government formally extended its anti-ISIL mission for up to 12 months and expanded the mission, authorizing airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria.

The Canadian contribution to the anti-ISIL coalition numbers about 600 personnel, including aircrew support elements, such as command and control and logistics. Also, there are about 70 members of the Canadian Armed Forces working in an advise and assist role with Iraqi forces.