WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2016) - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

From October 3 to 7, 17 Wing Winnipeg's 435 "Chinthe" Transport and Rescue Squadron will conduct its annual search and rescue (SAR) training exercise (called CHINTHEX), within the vicinity of Lethbridge, Alta.

SAR squadrons with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) are responsible for maintaining a capability to conduct a major search away from their home locations. A major search would be initiated if preliminary search efforts for a missing aircraft, vessel or person in distress were unsuccessful. To maintain their proficiencies and be ready for a major SAR event, SAR crews conduct regular training, like CHINTHEX.

The specific scenarios involved in this exercise are designed to be as realistic as possible enabling personnel to practice for missions they may encounter when responding to an actual SAR call. As such, it is expected that there will be low-altitude flying, equipment drops from the back of aircraft and the parachuting of rescue personnel into designated areas.

Associated Links


"17 Wing is committed to providing Canadians with fast and effective search and rescue whenever they need it, wherever they need it. Exercises like CHINTHEX help to ensure that our personnel are ready for the many different situations that they are likely to come across in a real search and rescue situation." - Colonel Andrew Cook, 17 Wing Commanding Officer

Quick Facts

  • Due to its vast size and range of environments, Canada relies on a diverse group of government, military, volunteer and industry partners to provide overall search and rescue (SAR) services to the Canadian public.

  • SAR operations are divided into three SAR regions. The largest of these regions, Trenton Search and Rescue Region, covers an area of more than 10 million square kilometers extending east to Quebec City and west to the Alberta-British Columbia border. From south to north, this region extends from Canada-United States border to the North Pole.

  • For CHINTHEX 2016, 435 Squadron will deploy a total of approximately 70 personnel, two CC-130 Hercules aircraft and equipment to Lethbridge to conduct SAR training and operations.

  • Other participants will include:

    • A CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 417 Combat Support Squadron out of 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta.;

    • A CC-138 Twin Otter crew from 440 Transport Squadron based in Yellowknife, N.W.T.;

    • Up to 15 aircraft being operated by the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA); and,

    • Regional ground search and rescue (GSAR) teams.

Associated Links

435 Transport and Rescue Squadron

Search and Rescue in Canada

Trenton Search and Rescue Region

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA)

Contact Information:

Lieutenant Graeme Scott
1 Canadian Air Division Public Affairs Officer

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811