The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) plans to enhance its air mobility operations in Europe, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand announced.
The enhancements will involve the integration of new CC-130J Super Hercules aircraft into the RCAF’s present air mobility detachment based in Prestwick, Scotland.
Support personnel will be deployed for maintenance, cargo transport, and administration at the base.
Deployment of RCAF support personnel will increase the Canadian armed forces’ strength to 55 members in the Scotland detachment.
RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft crews will continue providing support based on future operations.
The RCAF currently operates two CC-130Js at the base to support logistics and transport missions.
Increasing Operational Flexibility in Europe
Europe’s RCAF air mobility detachment is part of several ongoing international support missions.
With the changes at the base, the detachment’s capacity and operational flexibility are expected to increase, according to the defense minister.
It will also enable Canada to continue relaying support in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and benefit the government in further delivering military aid to Ukraine.
“The increased RCAF presence in Prestwick using this ‘Hub and Spoke’ model will allow greater flexibility and efficiency when it comes to delivering airpower to our fellow Canadian Armed Forces members and our NATO Allies,” RCAF Joint Force Air Component Commander Maj. Gen. Iain Huddleston said.
RCAF Ukraine Support
In recent months, the detachment has delivered approximately four million pounds (1.8 million kilograms) of cargo, most of which has been sent as military support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
“By delivering Ukraine-bound military aid donated by Canada, Allies, and partners, Canada is making a valuable contribution to Ukraine’s defence,” Anand emphasized.
“Today’s announcement will enable Canada to deliver even more military aid bound for Ukraine – and as Ukraine continues to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, this task remains crucial.”
“This concept will also enhance our proven ability to provide aid flights in support of Ukraine. RCAF crews in Europe have been doing a tremendous job since March and their motto of ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ will be well supported with these new measures,” Huddleston added.