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Canada’s Air Force to produce maps for its troops in Afghanistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – May 8, 2009) – The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced that two CP-140 Auroras deployed overseas yesterday for approximately two months to produce maps for Joint Task Force-Afghanistan.

The Auroras and their two crews will produce high-resolution, colour and stereo imagery in support of Operation ATHENA, the Canadian contingent to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. The type of imagery that will be gathered will promote interoperability and operational success since it can be shared across the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

“The deployment of the Auroras and their highly specialized sensor equipment displays our commitment to the security and effectiveness of this United Nations-mandated, NATO-led mission,” said Minister MacKay. “The Aurora crews will produce valuable digital aerial imagery to improve awareness of the situation on the ground for deployed Canadian Forces and allied troops.”

The maps produced will cover new ground where no detailed maps exist or be an improvement over existing out-dated maps where developments have changed the landscape. Imagery collected will be based on priority areas identified by the Canadian Forces and allies in conjunction with Joint Task Force -Afghanistan.

“The Auroras’ deployment to Afghanistan to perform overland mapping represents an expansion from its long-time role of maritime patrol,” said Lieutenant-General Angus Watt, Chief of the Air Staff. “This deployment will demonstrate and increase the experience levels of the CP-140 air and ground crews and be a milestone event for the Long Range Patrol community.”

Canada’s Air Force has played a critical role in supporting the mission in Afghanistan since 2002, contributing vital airlift; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and other mission-essential support involving approximately 20 per cent of the personnel deployed in support of the operation.

For detailed information about Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, visit: