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Auroras Prowl Gulf Region

Canada has contributed to the US-led effort in the campaign against terrorism.


October 3, 2007
By Mike Reyno

Topics

64-auroraSince early January Canadian aircrews have been actively scouring
the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea for vessels which intelligence sources
believe may be attempting to smuggle al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters out
of the area. Canada has contributed two CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol
aircraft to the US-led effort in the campaign against terrorism. They
are based at an undisclosed location in the Gulf region.

The Aurora Long-Range Patrol (LRP) Detachment was one of the first
Canadian units to deploy as part of Operation Apollo, Canada's
contribution to the overall campaign. This is only the second time that
Aurora aircraft have been deployed into an operational theatre.They are
co-located with the Canadian Tactical Airlift Detachment including
three CC-130 Hercules from Trenton, Ontario that have been providing
airlift support to Canadian and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Close
to 200 Canadians are supporting the two detachments. A third detachment
with a single CC- 150 Polaris was also based in the region but returned
to Trenton at the end of May upon completion of its six-month
deployment.

Since their arrival, Maritime Patrol crews made up from the three
operational Maritime Patrol Squadrons in Greenwood, NS and Comox, BC,
have been flying patrol missions daily. Unlike American P-3C Orion
patrol aircraft that have been flying surveillance missions over
Afghanistan, using equipment designed to hunt for submarines and search
for cave complexes, Canadian aircraft are patrolling only the Gulf and
the Arabian Sea."Our job is maritime patrol and intelligence
gathering," said Maj Shawn Marley, deputy commanding officer of the LRP
Detachment."We are supporting the various navies, including Canada's
which has five ships in the area, that have joined the US-led
coalition, locating, tracking, identifying and reporting every surface
contact in the patrol area.Any vessels suspected as smuggling al-Qaeda
or Taliban fighters are intercepted, boarded and searched by navy
personnel."

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