Canada Helps Gustav Effort Through Civil Assistance Plan
By Canadian Air Force Maj. Brian Martin
Special to American Forces Press Service
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Sep. 2, 2008 A civil assistance plan signed six months ago between U.S. Northern Command and Canada Command was used for the first time over the weekend to expedite and coordinate Canadian military support to the U.S. Gulf Coast region in response to Hurricane Gustav.
U.S. and Canadian Forces personnel help an evacuee of Hurricane Gustav to board a Canadian Forces flight at Lake Front Airport in New Orleans, Aug. 31, 2008. As part of the civil assistance plan between the United States and Canada, the Canadian Forces aircraft was brought in to help transport patients to destinations safely outside the hurricane’s path. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Weismiller
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"This was a great first use of the civil assistance plan,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart, NorthCom commander. “Everything went exactly as it was designed to."
After receiving approval from both the governments of Canada and the United States, the Canadian Forces quickly deployed a CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, to Lakefront, La. The aircrew and medical team aboard the aircraft flew seven littered and 13 ambulatory patients from New Orleans to Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 31.
“I am proud of our men and women in uniform for answering this call and know that we have the mechanisms in place to respond to these types of requests quickly and effectively,” said Vice Adm. Dean McFadden, commander of Canada Command and former commander of the Canadian task group that deployed to the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005 to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Signed on Feb. 14, the civil assistance plan formalized the longstanding tradition of military-to-military cooperation that has long existed between both countries, officials said.
(Canadian Air Force Maj. Brian Martin serves in the U.S. Northern Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command Public Affairs Office.)