• Follow us

Politics

A mission that 'left a mark': Canadian helicopters coming home from Mali | CBC News

Col. Travis Morehen had been on the ground in Mali for only four days when he got a brutal and bloody reminder of the perils facing United Nations peacekeepers in the embattled West African country.

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists blew up a forward peacekeeping base in Aguelhoc, in the country's northern Kidal region, killing 10 soldiers and wounding 25.

The Jan. 20 attack, for which Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen claimed responsibility, involved a convoy of insurgents fighting a pitched battle with peacekeepers.

Morehen, who was about to assume command of Canada's helicopter detachment at the time, watched as his predecessor scrambled two CH-147F Chinooks and three CH-146 armed Griffons to rescue the wounded and recover the dead.

"It was a stark introduction (to) how vigilant we needed to be and how important this mission was," Morehen told CBC News Thursday.

"This tour has left a mark on everyone."

Canada's mission to provide life-saving medical evacuation services and in-country transport to UN peacekeepers in Mali comes to an end Saturday, when the Canadian contingent begins to withdraw to be replaced by Romanian helicopters.

The mission — and the unsettling beginning of his deployment — left a deep impression on Morehen, a veteran of combat operations in Afghanistan.

Honouring the dead

His change of command took place just as the helicopter carrying eight of the 10 peacekeepers killed in Aguelhoc touched down at the main UN airfield in Gao. Nearby, a UN C-130 Hercules was waiting to ferry casualties to Chad.

Morehen and the other Canadians organized an impromptu ramp ceremony for the fallen soldiers as their caskets were carried between the aircraft.

"That was an emotional moment for me based on the experiences I had in Afghanistan," he said. "It really brought home the serious nature of our business and how we had to be prepared to minimize any further caskets from coming home."

The ramp ceremony was a gesture of respect that deeply moved the Chadian soldiers who saw it, and who expressed their appreciation and shared a moment of silence with the Canadians days later.

Col. Travis Morehen, seen here at the mission base in Gao, has been commanding the Canadian chopper contingent in Mali, which ends Saturday. 'We are continents apart, but we're peacekeepers together in the service of peace in Mali,' he said.

"We are continents apart, but we're peacekeepers together in the service of peace in Mali and it was a common reminder of how we stand for them and they stand for us," said Morehen.

The Canadian contingent, with its 250 pilots, ground crew and medical staff, has been conducting a slow-motion withdrawal since the end of July. The task force stopped ferrying UN troops around Mali, which is plagued not only by Islamic extremists but by violent tribal and political divisions.

The Canadians continued carrying out medical evacuations as they were preparing to leave. Those mercy flights end on Aug. 31 and are due to be picked up by a Romanian air detachment, which will begin operations near the end of next month.

A new approach to medical evac

The Canadian Chinook helicopter contingent came equipped with a mobile surgical suite, which allowed medical staff to begin treating wounded peacekeepers immediately before takeoff. It was a novel concept and Mali proved that it works, Morehen said.

One of the benchmarks set by the Liberal government for peacekeeping operations was that Canada's contributions would have to demonstrate an enduring impact.

Morehen said he believes the year-long mission has given other countries ideas on how to better conduct such operations, particularly medical evacuations.

A Canadian Chinook helicopter flies over a German armoured vehicle during a medical evacuation demonstration on the United Nations base in Gao, Mali, Saturday, December 22, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Canadians conducted 11 medical evacuations during their year-long deployment, treating 42 patients — including two French soldiers wounded during counter-terrorism operations against Islamic extremists, a mission separate from the UN peacekeeping operation.

Since 2013, the French have been conducting a major (but mostly off-the-radar) campaign to keep al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups at bay. Extremists overran vast portions of northern Mali six years ago, but were expelled in a coordinated military operation.

The UN stepped in to provide a stabilization mission in April 2013. It's now the most deadly active UN mission.

The Canadian contribution to that mission had been scheduled to shut down entirely at the end of July, but the federal government extended the deployment to the end of August to give the Romanians more time to get into the field.

Morehen said some of the Canadian aircrew will return to Mali in late September to help bring the Romanian task force pilots and medical technicians up to speed.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

: Politics

Senate incidents involving pro-oil and gas shirts highlight New! 2019-09-17 14:45:12Twice this month, visitors to parliament buildings were asked to remove items of clothing sporting the slogan "I love Canadian Oil and Gas."

NDP, Greens pledge to improve access to health New! 2019-09-17 12:58:51Meanwhile, the Liberal party said 'a lot of hard work still needs to be done — including in the realm of access to health care.'

Greens pledge to regulate tech giants to ensure New! 2019-09-17 12:14:51Is it possible for a government to enact this type of regulation, and would it actually address the problems the Greens have referenced? Global News a

Tories pledge to increase federal contribution to RESP New! 2019-09-17 10:48:00The increase would come on top of the existing federal grants for low and middle-income families.

Jagmeet Singh pledges to build 500,000 new affordable New! 2019-09-17 09:39:50Leader Jagmeet Singh didn't provide details on how he would achieve that goal, saying only that he will have more announcements about it.

Trudeau vows to boost Canada Child Benefit, make 2019-09-17 09:07:53Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is promising to make maternity and parental benefits tax-free if his party is re-elected in October.

Election campaign Day 7: Leaders focus on childcare, 2019-09-17 08:06:42Some of the federal party leaders are getting early starts as Day 7 of the federal election campaign begins.

Liberal denial of ‘hidden’ capital gains tax hike 2019-09-17 07:30:07The Conservatives have seized on a ``policy proposal'' report written last November by Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan for the Ontario Liberal caucu

ANALYSIS: Jagmeet Singh’s crucial Quebec launch lacks exposure 2019-09-17 07:00:18NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is in the fight of his party's life in Quebec, yet he only attended four events as he launched a province-specific platform.

‘A really tight race’: Conservatives, Liberals locked in 2019-09-17 05:00:49Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, said no party really has any momentum, which is unusual given the campaign is well underway.

First days of election campaigns marked by candidate 2019-09-13 19:56:52Party leaders have had to contend with their candidates' past social media posts and lives.

Analysis: A Scheer victory does not guarantee carbon 2019-09-13 19:47:20In a Conservative led minority government, Andrew Scheer would likely face major roadblocks if he attempted to repeal the carbon tax.

CBC | Politics News

NDP's Singh seeks urban support with housing billions, New! 2019-09-17 14:14:15​​​​​​​Jagmeet Singh continued his push to win progressive votes on Tuesday by promising an NDP government w

Scheer vows to boost federal contributions to Registered New! 2019-09-17 11:59:35Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Tuesday a government led by him would contribute more money to Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) &mdas

RCMP head says allies concerned, but supportive in New! 2019-09-17 11:38:09RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said today the national police force is working to limit security risks among Canada's intelligence allies and as

Scheer's proposed tax cut isn't 'universal' — but New! 2019-09-17 10:54:19The Conservative Party's pitch to cut the rate on the lowest income tax bracket is a central promise of its campaign. The move ultimately would benef

In some battleground ridings, renters spend 50% or New! 2019-09-17 10:00:00Housing affordability is poised to be a major ballot box issue in the upcoming federal election, with a sizeable portion of renters in some of th

Liberals pledge to boost Canada Child Benefit, extend 2019-09-17 08:48:11The Liberals are promising a suite of family-friendly benefits, including a boost to the Canada Child Benefit for babies and a 15-week leave program f

Green leader gets stuck in the sands of 2019-09-17 04:00:18Elizabeth May likens the fight against climate change to the Dunkirk evacuations. But historians say she has many of her facts wrong.

Ortis case linked to Vancouver firm that supplied 2019-09-17 04:00:00The investigation into top RCMP official Cameron Ortis began with a shadowy Vancouver-based company and a multimillion-dollar business

Bernier's in — and the federal election debates 2019-09-17 04:00:00The stage is set for Maxime Bernier. His challenge now is to perform.

Where the party leaders are on Day 7 2019-09-17 04:00:00Here's what you need to know about where the federal leaders are on Day 7 of the campaign.

Here are the tools you need to follow 2019-09-17 04:00:00All the tools and resources you'll need to follow the campaign, from fact checks to spotting "fake news."

Canadian law can't punish some peacekeepers for sex 2019-09-16 19:00:00CBC obtained hundreds of pages of internal documents, memos and emails from Global Affairs Canada that confirm that six peacekeepers who were found to

Breitbart News

'President Swalwell': Corey Lewandowski Mocks Failed Presidential Candidate New! 2019-09-17 18:51:34Corey Lewandowski took a jab at failed presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Tuesday during his testimony before the House Judiciary Commit

WATCH--Corey Lewandowski While Being Questioned: 'I’m the Good New! 2019-09-17 18:36:04Corey Lewandowski packed several punches as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, with one of which he called himself the "go

Obama on Climate Kid Greta Thunberg: 'One of New! 2019-09-17 18:18:25Former President Barack Obama praised 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as "one of our planet's greatest advocates" in a Tuesday afternoo

Orrin Hatch Contradicts Joe Biden's Claims About Believing New! 2019-09-17 18:14:57One of Joe Biden's longtime Senate colleagues is contradicting claims the former vice president recently made about having believed Anita Hill during

Speier: I'd Slap Lewandowski with an Inherent Contempt New! 2019-09-17 18:07:28On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) stated that if she was in charge of the House

NBC Poll: Biden, Warren Leading Democrat Field by New! 2019-09-17 18:06:07Joe Biden (D) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are separating themselves from the rest of the Democrat field by double digits, according to an NBC/WSJ

Explosion Starts Fire at Cold War-Era Lab Housing New! 2019-09-17 17:58:49An explosion occurred Monday night at a Russian biological research laboratory where samples of the smallpox virus are stored, reports said. 

Progressives Attack 'Remain in Mexico' Program for Migrants New! 2019-09-17 17:54:12DHS is showcasing the new border courtrooms created to handle asylum claims by more than 40,000 migrants who were sent back to Mexico, as pro-migratio

Behind the General Motors Autoworkers Strike: Economic Power New! 2019-09-17 17:18:13The strike by workers at General Motors plants across the country is the clearest demonstration of a shift in the U.S. economy that began nearly two y

Book: Sheryl Sandberg Helped Kavanaugh Accuser New! 2019-09-17 17:11:15The upcoming book on Brett Kavanaugh from Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly has more to offer than smears and fake news traps for the New Y

Chinese Media: American Democracy Is an ‘Outdated Fantasy’ New! 2019-09-17 17:10:46China’s state-run Global Times on Monday took the occasion of the International Day of Democracy to scoff at the image of the United States as a

Poll: Joe Biden Tops Democrat Presidential Field in New! 2019-09-17 16:48:56Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is leading the field in New York's Democrat primary, according to a Siena College poll conducted days before

Politics – Macleans.ca

A black mark on the federal election campaign New! 2019-09-17 14:36:08Election Image of the Day: A Liberal in New Brunswick is one of three candidates whose signs are defaced with swastikas The post A black mark on the f

338Canada: The very long odds for the PPC New! 2019-09-17 10:17:35Philippe J. Fournier: The debate commission ruled Bernier's party has a legitimate shot at winning more than one seat. The 338Canada model suggests n

Official debates now at Max capacity 2019-09-17 07:00:00Politics Insider for Sept. 17: Bernier invited to debates, Trudeau 'supports' the CBC and the Liberals and Conservatives fight over who's got more

The case for (some) Max Bernier in the 2019-09-16 21:28:43Stephen Maher: By meeting the organizer's threshold, the PPC leader earned his ticket—but it shouldn't extend to equal air time on our TVs as

It says here that Andrew Scheer should try 2019-09-16 18:32:24Election Image of the Day: A comically contrived photo-op reflects the state of the campaign: reduced to scripted platitudes about the middle class Th

Let’s retire the ‘abortion debate’ in Election 43 2019-09-16 17:57:42Anne Kingston: Focus on a mythical debate has a serious consequence: it ignores the larger sweep of social conservative policies promoted by anti-abor

Are Canadians being left behind or benefiting from 2019-09-16 15:19:49For this election, it’s both. There is evidence that people's partisan identification changes the way they see changing economic conditions. Th

Is that a Conservative campaigner calling, or a 2019-09-16 13:54:16Stephen Maher: The party is using pre-recorded voice actors and a controversial technology that the Liberals abandoned at the last moment The post Is

Who lost the last election again? 2019-09-16 11:46:40As the 2019 campaign gets rolling, consider what made the 2015 election so unusual—results that were more than acceptable for all three major pa

Trudeau: No questions please, I’m campaigning 2019-09-16 07:00:45Politics Insider for Sept. 16: Foreign policy messes, apologizing Tories and Scheer's tax cut pledges cost big The post Trudeau: No questions please,

This week’s 338Canada projection: A look at where 2019-09-15 19:06:20Philippe J. Fournier: The poll average shows an incredibly close race at the top, but no consensus on where NDP support stands The post This week&rsqu

Maclean’s-Citytv National Leaders Debate 2019: Full transcript 2019-09-13 15:50:42Here's everything Elizabeth May, Jagmeet Singh and Andrew Scheer said during the Maclean's-Citytv #firstdebate The post Maclean’s-Citytv Natio

CTVNews.ca - Politics -

Scheer pressed on abortion debate on campaign trail 2019-09-12 11:54:00Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s first stop on the second day of the federal election campaign was preoccupied by the ongoing abortion debate

Two NDP candidates resign at start of federal 2019-09-12 11:31:00Two NDP candidates have resigned at the start of the federal election campaign, one because of domestic abuse allegations he denies and the other over

Liberals get new campaign plane after collision with 2019-09-12 01:33:00An unwrapped Air Transat plane will temporarily replace Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s election-branded aircraft, after a media bus hit and dam

338 ridings, 40 days, 1 vote: Election campaign 2019-09-11 08:24:00Justin Trudeau has set in motion the 2019 federal election campaign, setting up his re-election bid as a choice for forward progress, while his oppone

Greens clarify abortion stance after May says she 2019-09-09 20:50:00The Green Party says there is 'zero chance' that any of its members would attempt to reopen the abortion debate in the House of Commons, issuing the

'Friends of Science' thanks Elections Canada for warning 2019-09-09 17:52:00A Calgary organization that argues climate change is nothing close to a global emergency says Elections Canada is right to keep a close eye on campaig

Waiting for the election to be called: Pre-campaign 2019-09-09 17:32:00While it may seem that the election campaign has begun, with parties exchanging partisan attacks and unveiling their ads, slogans, and in some cases c

Quebec, Ontario first targets in launch of Conservative 2019-09-09 15:23:00The federal Conservatives will formally launch their federal election campaign Wednesday with two events in places where they aim to increase their su

Everything you need to know about the 2019 2019-09-09 12:00:00Here's how you can watch, listen, and engage with the two official leaders' debates in the 2019 election campaign.

AFN outlines 2019 federal election priorities 2019-09-09 10:35:00The Assembly of First Nations has outlined what it views as the key election 2019 priorities for federal parties and candidates. Among the top commitm

Trudeau and Vancouver's mayor talk housing, transit and 2019-08-30 14:17:18Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted his government's record on some of the most sensitive issues facing Vancouver as he met with Mayor Kennedy Stewa

Lawyer for suspended public servant requests delay in 2019-08-30 11:42:08A lawyer for a federal public servant accused of leaking cabinet secrets about a $700-million shipbuilding project is asking for a delay in the case u


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.