Exercise MAPLE FLAG, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s largest and most complex international training event of the year, begins next week in Cold Lake, Alberta. Taking place from June 11 – 22, Exercise MAPLE FLAG will bring together nearly 1200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel in participant or supporting roles, along with 540 personnel from allied nations along with multiple aircraft types, including:
· From Canada: CF-188 Hornet fighters, CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refueling and transport aircraft CC-130T Hercules air-to-air refueling and transport aircraft; TPS-70 Tactical Control Radar; and contracted Dornier Alpha Jets;
· From the United States: EA-18G Super Hornet “Growler” Electronic Warfare aircraft; and B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers;
· From Australia: F/A-18 Hornet fighters;
· From Belgium: F-16AM Fighting Falcon “Viper” fighters; and
· From NATO: E-3A AWACS.
Between June 11 and 22, 2018, 4 Wing Cold Lake will host Exercise MAPLE FLAG 51, an annual international air combat training exercise.
This will result in increased noise, air traffic and overall operations in and around the Base, and will require security protocols to be slightly enhanced.
Residents can expect to see armed military personnel at both the front and back gates of the Base and along the flight line. Ground vehicle traffic is also likely to increase during this time.
“We are proud to once again host Exercise MAPLE FLAG in support of our Canadian and international partners and allies. The personnel of 4 Wing and CFB Cold Lake have been working hard over the past year to plan this immersive training opportunity. To prepare ourselves for real world operations, we must practice our combined capabilities in training exercises such as Exercise MAPLE FLAG”
Colonel Paul Doyle, Commander 4 Wing Cold Lake
· Exercise MAPLE FLAG provides an opportunity for elements of the RCAF as well as our international partners and allies to train in a tailored, concentrated environment.
· This international exercise prepares Canadian and international aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel for the rigours of operations in the modern aerial battlespace.
· For the RCAF, Exercise MAPLE FLAG provides an opportunity for personnel to embrace AIRPower, and refine their capabilities as guarantors of Canadian Sovereignty.
· The goal of the exercise is to hone a multitude of skills within a realistic, evolving and challenging operating environment, enabling all participants to become an Agile and Integrated force, with the Reach and Power (AIRPower) to achieve the mission.
· Participants from allied and partner forces include:
o The Belgian Air Component;
o The Royal Australian Air Force;
o The United States Navy;
o The United States Marine Corps; and
o The United States Air Force.
· Exercise MAPLE FLAG takes place primarily inside the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR). This unique airspace permits the use of a variety of simulated and live weapons systems, as well as supersonic flight.