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Canada
Minister of National Defence Art Eggleton
Press Release on the role of Canadian Forces in US Coalition
Ottawa, Ontaria
September 14, 2001

The Honourable Art Eggleton, Minister of National Defence, stated today that the Canadian Forces (CF) continue to participate in Canada's efforts to assist the United States in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The CF is supporting assistance to passengers and crews of aircraft diverted to Canadian airfields during this crisis. Re-routed airline passengers have been hosted at CF facilities in Goose Bay, Labrador; Gander and Stephenville, Newfoundland; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Halifax, Shearwater and Aldershot, Nova Scotia. Atlantic-region CF units have provided thousands of beds and ration packs.

CF members are supporting Transport Canada and other civil authorities. CF aircraft transported Canada Customs and Revenue Officials to several destinations, and about 8,800 cots, 8,300 blankets and 55 CF support personnel to Atlantic region locations where re-routed passengers and aircrew are being accommodated.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada and the men and women of the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence, I offer my sincerest sympathies to the victims of this tragedy, along with their families and their friends," said Mr. Eggleton. "I also want to reaffirm Canada's long-standing commitment to working with the United States to defend the North American continent and our common interests and values. At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to our closest ally and friend."

The CF has also pre-positioned CF assets for other potential humanitarian support. These measures are being taken to ensure that a variety of options are available for rapid initiation should the Government of Canada decide to exercise them upon request from the United States government.

As part of contingency operations, the approximately 200-strong Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which includes CF members from Petawawa and Kingston, Ontario, is in position at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario. Three Canadian Forces vessels, HMC ships Preserver, Iroquois and Ville de Québec, are in a heightened state of readiness to sail to a US port to provide humanitarian assistance. If requested, these assets could provide services such as medical support, casualty clearing, transportation and communications.

In addition, several additional CF-18 fighter jets have been dedicated to continental security under our bilateral partnership with the US in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

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©2001 Government of Canada.