Trenton, Ontario, welcomed the return of a CC-150 Polaris aircraft, crew, and support personnel from 437 Transport Squadron, who had been deployed on Operation Impact, during a ceremony at 8 Wing’s passenger terminal on January 28, 2019.
This marks the official end of 437 Transport Squadron’s air-to-air refueling contribution to Operation Impact in Iraq and Syria. The CC-150 Polaris aircraft supported the operation by continuously providing air-to-air refuelling for the Global Coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since October 2014.
“I am incredibly proud of the efforts the 437 Transport Squadron members and their families positively contributed to Op Impact,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Diane Baldasaro, the commanding officer of 437 Transport Squadron. “Our squadron motto is ‘Omnia Passim’ (Anything, Anywhere’), and for the nearly five years that we served in this mission, we certainly lived up to those words.”
The ceremony also included the presentation of General Service Medals – Expeditionary to the civilian employees of L3 MAS, in recognition of their work supporting the CC-150 Polaris while it was deployed.
The CC-150 Polaris is a multi-purpose, twin-engine, long-range jet aircraft. It can be used for passenger, freight or medical transport and air-to-air refueling. The Polaris can reach a speed of up to 1,029 km/h carrying a load of up to 32,000 kilograms. It can carry up to 194 passengers, depending on the particular aircraft tail number and configuration.
As part of the Air Force Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program, two CC-150 Polaris aircraft were converted to strategic air-to-air refuellers for Canada’s fleet of CF-188 Hornets. The Polaris MRTT is capable of transferring 36,000 kilograms of fuel to receiving aircraft over a journey of 4,630 kilometres. One Polaris tanker can ferry a flight of four Hornets non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.
The CC-150 Polaris flew a total of 1,166 sorties, flew for more than 7,050 hours and delivered more than 65 million pounds [29.5 million kilograms] of fuel in support of Operation Impact.
“We are extremely proud of the women and men of 437 Transport Squadron, L3 MAS, and all of the personnel at 8 Wing who supported Operation Impact in the Middle East over the last four years,” said Colonel Mark Goulden, 8 Wing commander. “Their dedication and commitment enabled the Coalition Forces by providing an important air-to-air refueling capability, which contributed to support of the security forces on the ground.”
Operation Impact began as the Canadian Armed Forces support to the Global Coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The coalition has been effective. The Canadian Armed Forces continue to work with partners in the region to set the conditions for stability and security.