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Sat, Oct 04, 2003

Arctic SAREX Attracts Americans, Russians

Search And Rescue In A Winter Wonderland

15 members of Canada's Air Force took part in the annual Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise hosted this year by the Russian Federation at Gelendzhik, Russia, from Sept. 10 to 12.

Arctic SAREX 03 is the tenth in a series of Canadian, American and Russian military efforts to improve combined  SAR capabilities to respond to major air disasters and major searches.

"The Arctic SAREX program is an important series of exercises for us," said Major-General Marc Dumais, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division. "Not only does it promote understanding between Russian, American and Canadian Forces, it also provides a venue for each nation to observe the others' search and rescue procedures and equipment and to demonstrate their own.”

In a departure from what has become the normal theme of the Arctic SAREX series, this year’s training scenario involves the rescue of three astronauts from the International Space Station who have made an emergency water landing in a Soyuz spacecraft (Russian spacecraft normally make dry-land touch-downs).

The Canadian contribution includes members from: 442 Squadron (Sqn) in Comox (BC) 424 Sqn in Trenton (ONT), 413 Sqn in Greenwood (NS), 435 Sqn in Winnipeg (ONT), Canadian Forces School of Search and Rescue in Comox (BC), 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg (ONT) and two translators from Ottawa (ONT) for a total of 17 personnel.

In Canada, aerial search and rescue is the mandate of the Canadian Forces. Hundreds of Canadians are rescued by Air Force search and rescue personnel every year from coast to
coast to coast.



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