If you see military helicopters suddenly flying around the Okanagan, don’t worry — Canada isn’t being invaded.
On Tuesday, the Department of National Defence said helicopter crews from the Royal Canadian Air Force will be conducting mountain-training exercises from March 11-30.
The department said three helicopters will be based out of Penticton during the three-week exercise, and that crews will be flying to Kelowna, Revelstoke and surrounding areas.
According to the Canadian Armed Forces, the training exercises ensure operational readiness.
“Mountain flying presents a variety of challenges for helicopter operations, and it is crucial that crews receive regular training to ensure they can conduct mountain operations safely and effectively,” the Armed Forces said in a press release.
“Communities in the Okanagan Valley can expect to see and hear helicopters flying throughout the region. The squadron will do everything possible to reduce their impact on communities while completing this essential training.”
Two pilots escape unhurt after Bowen Island helicopter crash caught on video
The training sessions will involve the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, which is based out of Valcartier, Que.
Equipped with CH-146 Griffon helicopters, the squadron’s principal role is to support land forces.
The exercises will involve aircrews and support personnel.
As a precaution, 430 Squadron has put COVID-prevention procedures in place to minimize exposure risks for both local communities and exercise personnel,” said the Armed Forces.
Military helicopter crashed after completing training exercise, Canadian Armed Forces official says
“All members will quarantine and pass a COVID-19 test prior to arriving in British Columbia, and will abide by all provincial health measures. All RCAF members participating in the exercise, as well as the helicopters, will be transported to and from Kelowna via RCAF airlift.
“People in the area can expect to see large military transports flying in and out of the airport in the days before and after the exercise.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.