Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support to Hurricane Irma relief in the Caribbean
Operation RENAISSANCE IRMA is the CAF mission to support Hurricane Irma relief in the Caribbean. The CAF is conducting this operation in support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
Under this operation, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St. John’s is helping with relief efforts in the Turks and Caicos region. The crew is on land removing debris and restoring power and water sources. The ship’s CH-124 Sea King helicopter and aircrew are scouting the area and delivering water to locals. Its dive team is assessing underwater damage.
Further, three Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft based out of Barbados are supporting global relief efforts. Two CC-130J Hercules are providing airlift support to partner nations. A CP-140 Aurora is also in the region capturing imagery of affected areas. Partner nations are using this imagery to assess and respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The CAF has also established a liaison and reconnaissance team in Barbados. Its role is to facilitate CAF support to partners in the region.
A CC-177 Globemaster was also deployed on this operation. It supported France by transporting equipment and supplies from Bordeaux to Guadeloupe. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it flew 66 evacuees and two service dogs from St. Maarten and the Turks and Caicos to Toronto.
Previously, a CC 130J Hercules flew humanitarian supplies from Mississauga to the British Virgin Islands. As arranged by GAC, on its return flight it transported Canadians citizens and government officials to Toronto.
Hurricane Irma passed through the Caribbean beginning on September 6, 2017. The tropical cyclone is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Wilma of 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds.
This natural disaster has caused widespread damage and a need for humanitarian aid and relief, including aid workers, fresh water and supplies.