Army helicopters return to Petawawa from Iraq due to pandemic

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With the Iraq mission just about at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Forces has pulled its helicopters and related air crews from the nation.

Three Griffon helicopters primarily based in Petawawa and three from Edmonton returned from Iraq in mid-April, Division of Nationwide Defence spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande confirmed in an electronic mail.

On the identical time upkeep work on the Royal Canadian Navy’s submarines has been halted due to COVID-19, disrupting the navy’s plans to get two of the boats to sea this 12 months.

Lamirande stated three Griffon helicopters had been from the 427 Particular Operations Aviation Squadron primarily based in Petawawa, and the three different helicopters had been from 408 Squadron primarily based in Edmonton.

“Over the previous a number of months the setting in Iraq has shifted significantly,” she defined in an electronic mail. “The unfold of COVID-19 has induced the Iraqi Safety Forces to droop all coaching actions, which has led to an operational pause.”