Maintaining operational success with the CP-140 Aurora
Jan. 12, 2015, Ottawa - The Long Range Patrol (LRP) Detachment Maintenance Flight is integral to providing serviceable CP-140 Aurora aircraft to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions over Iraq in support of Middle East Stabilization Force missions against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
After 30 sorties, the Maintenance Flight has achieved excellent mission success with a high serviceability rate over November and December 2014. The combined team from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, and 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, has been the cornerstone for long-range patrol operations out of Kuwait and an exceptional example of an organized, trained, and combat-ready unit within Air Task Force-Iraq. Comprised of aircraft maintenance technicians, supply technicians, a maintenance superintendent and an aerospace engineering officer, this flight has already made its mark in theatre.
The first rotation of a deployment is often the most challenging period of any air operation. It is the time when critical maintenance areas are established, equipment is flown into theatre, and basic processes in a deployed environment are developed and implemented, all while maintaining mission focus in the face of time pressures and limited resources.
“Even though the days are long, I know the work I am doing here will help other techs succeed,” said a long-range patrol maintenance technician from 14 Wing. “We come to work knowing that we are contributing to this mission and it gives us a real sense of purpose and pride.”
This type of mission focus has been witnessed on multiple occasions. Early in November, an issue arose with a leaking aircraft oil tank. Experienced technicians came up with a solution that took only a few hours permitting the aircrew to fly their mission. In another case, the outstanding teamwork of technicians enabled them to replace the electro-optical/infrared camera in only 70 minutes – a job that can take several hours under normal conditions.
“They were so fired-up about the repair and that they had saved a mission they looked like they wouldn’t be able to sleep for days,” said the detachment commander after congratulating the crew on their efforts at the end of the shift. “It was great to see the team so highly motivated and working together in order to make the mission happen.”
While the CP-140 Aurora offers an outstanding ISR platform to the Middle East Stabilization Force coalition; this capability is dependent on the quality of the ground support. As is the mantra in the Long Range Patrol Detachment: “There is no divide between maintenance and operations. Maintenance is operations.” Achieving mission success is the proof and it is all due to long-range patrol maintenance technicians’ hard work.
The deployed detachment and the Aurora community in general, are exceptionally proud of the achievements that continue to mount for the long-range patrol maintainers in theatre.