ARCHIVED - Operation LENTUS 14-05

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Backgrounder / July 7, 2014

 

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed members to assist the Province of Manitoba in flood mitigation in July 2014, after a state of emergency was declared. Under Canadian Joint Operations Command, Joint Task Force West (JTFW) is the CAF regional command responsible for the conduct of domestic operations within Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. JTFW is commanded by Brig.-Gen. Christian Juneau. 

 

Timeline

11 July – Flood situation stabilized in southern Manitoba:

  • CAF personnel redeployed back to their respective bases and formations.
  • In consultation with the provincial authorities, CAF kept some soldiers in location to respond to any potential breaches. Helicopters also remained for aerial surveillance as required.
  • All CAF liaison officers remained in place with the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization.

10 July – Quick Response Forces (QRFs) remained at the ready to deploy within 30 minutes of a dike breach:

  • Naval Reserve units in Winnipeg remained on a 30-minute notice-to-move to support safety boats for the QRFs.
  •  Sandbagging production operations moved to daytime hours.

9 July – Flood protection operations completed as the Assiniboine River crested at the Portage Diversion:

  •  QRF launched at 12:30 p.m. (local) to fix an aqua dike in the vicinity of Poplar Point. A second QRF was deployed to reinforce a culvert south of Portage La Prairie. These QRFs were on a 30 minute notice to move.
  •  CP-140 Aurora plane conducted a night overflight and captured imagery of a dike seeping into a field. The imagery was relayed to the Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization enabling for an immediate assessment to be made and an action plan to be developed.
  •  Both a CP-140 Aurora plane and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter continued their nighttime surveillance of the dike systems for possible breaches. 
  •  Twenty-four hour sandbagging operations continued in the vicinity of Fort La Reine and St. Francois Xavier.
  •  Twenty-four hour sandbagging production operations continue.

8 July – Flood protection operations continue unabated:

  • To date, an estimated 212,700 sandbags had been produced and 184,000 had been delivered by all Provincial Authorities, CAF members and the volunteers who are working to hold back the water. [source: Province of Manitoba Flood Bulletin #12, 8 Jul 12]
  •  CP-140 Aurora plane, with its MX-20 unit, captured overnight video imagery of the dike system, providing valuable information to the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization.
  •  All flood preparations were nearly completed and CAF entered into a monitoring period; ready to react should the situation change.
  •  Twenty-four hour sandbagging production operations continue.

 7 July – Province of Manitoba requested an additional task from the Canadian Armed Forces: 

  • CH-146 Griffon helicopter began nighttime Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance of the dike and flood diversion systems late evening. 

  •  Currently the video captured is provided from a MX-15 unit (operated from a CH-146 Griffon). The MX-15 has an infrared capability allowing for both day and night-time video capture. 
  •  Naval Reserve sailors deployed to the northern basin of the Portage Diversion to augment the existing sandbagging operations with other CAF personnel.
  •  A small number of zodiac boats have been employed by HMCS CHIPPAWA in support of sandbagging operations.

6 July - More CAF members deployed bringing the number to approximately 500.

  • The additional support came from:

    • 38 Canadian Brigade Group, from Winnipeg, MB
    • 17 Wing air personnel, from Winnipeg, MG
    • HMCS CHIPPAWA Naval Reserve sailors, from Winnipeg, MB
    • RCAF provided an additional two CH-146 Griffons bringing the total number to four.  The four CH-146 Griffons have been supporting the flood efforts by conducting over flights of the affected area to provide better situational awareness of the evolving situation.
  • CAF conducted fortification efforts at the Hoop and Holler Bend, and sandbagging operations in the vicinity of Fort La Riene, St Francois Xavier and Cartier to save 350 homes.

5 July - 300 soldiers are deployed to the vicinity of Portage La Prairie.

  • Tasks:

    • Protecting critical infrastructure including assisting with sandbagging production
    • Delivery of sandbags to areas difficult to reach
    • Assisting with the construction of barriers to protect critical infrastructure
  • Forces deployed:

    • Leading the operation: 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, from CFB Shilo
    • Supported by: 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, from CFB Shilo, MB
  • Additional support: Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) assisted with:

    • Two CH-146 Griffons from 408 Squadron, in Edmonton. The helicopters were moved to Brandon, MB
    • The RCAF also placed a number of air assets on a heightened state of readiness. 

4 July - Province of Manitoba requested Federal Government support. The Immediate Response Unit (IRU) is activated and prepare for an immediate deployment.

 

 

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