Training at Lethbridge Airport
The public service announcement below is being sent on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces. Please note, the public is welcome to visit the airport and watch the planes, but vehicles need to be parked in the airport parking lot and not in adjacent business lots or obstructing the flow of traffic around the terminal.
Public Service Announcement
RCAF to conduct Search and Rescue Training in Lethbridge June 5 - 12, 2023
05 June 2023 – Comox, B.C. – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
People near Lethbridge may see and hear Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H Hercules, CH-146 Griffon helicopters, and a CC138 Twin Otter flying overhead, and see Search and Rescue Technicians parachuting between June 5 - 12. Residents may also see rescue equipment being parachuted from aircraft over drop zones. All aircraft and crew will be in Lethbridge for 435 Squadron’s annual Search and Rescue exercise (SAREX). Airfields in Cranbrook and Pincher Creek are also expected to see some SAREX traffic.
Flight times may vary due to weather or training scenarios and night flights are also likely. All measures are being taken to ensure minimal impact to those living near the training areas and residents are asked to not to approach the drop zones.
435 Squadron holds an annual SAREX to provide training opportunities for all members of the squadron. Locations for the SAREX vary, allowing for different terrains, weather and settings.
Participants in the exercise include the RCAF’s 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, 417 Combat Support Squadron (4 Wing Cold Lake, AB), 440 Transport Squadron (Yellowknife, NWT), HMCS Tecumseh (Calgary Naval Reserve Unit), 39 Rescue Squadron and 36 Rescue Squadron US Air Force, Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), as well the Lethbridge Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) team. Working with other SAR partners allows the sharing of best practices and enhances interoperability during actual SAR missions that involve multiple agencies.
The Royal Canadian Air Force has the primary responsibility of providing aeronautical SAR services in Canada and is responsible for the effective operation of the coordinated aeronautical and maritime SAR system. The RCAF may also help with ground SAR efforts, medical evacuations and other incidents where people are in distress. Canadian Armed Forces SAR crews are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.