Military improves east coast search-and-rescue capability

Cpl. Brittany Purchon, aircraft structures technician at Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron's (ATESS) refinishing shop at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, Ont. refinish a Canadian Forces' Griffon CH-416 helicopter that was used by the army in Afghanistan into a red, yellow, and black search and rescue aircraft, which will replace one of 424 Transport Search and Rescue Squadron's fleet of four, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.



OTTAWA -- The federal government is adding one more Griffon search-and-rescue helicopter to the military base in Goose Bay, N.L., bringing the number of choppers there to three.

"A third Griffon aircraft at 5 Wing Goose Bay will have an immediate positive impact on the operational readiness of the base and provide flexibility to decision makers on the use of Canadian Forces assets in the region," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement. "This helicopter represents another resource that can contribute to Canada's search-and-rescue system in support of primary responders in this region."

MacKay's announcement follows the death of Burton Winters, 14, who was found dead on sea ice in northern Labrador on Feb. 1.

Police asked for military helicopters to help search for Winters, but both helicopters in Goose Bay are reported to have been out of commission for maintenance at the time, which delayed their deployment.

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