Canadian jets fly nearly 100 missions in Libya

The Canadian military continues to play a large role in the NATO mission in Libya, a Defence Department spokesman said Wednesday.

Brig.-Gen. Richard Blanchette said that Canadian CF-18 fighters have been active in Libyan skies, accounting for 98 of the 832 fighter missions flown by NATO jets since the start of combat operations. Canada dispatched six CF-18s to the NATO-led mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.

Blanchette told a media briefing that since April 6 Canadian mid-air refuelling tankers have flown 11 missions in support of NATO's fighters, while CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft have flown five missions.

The Canadian military has also been a part of the naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, helping enforce a UN-mandated arms embargo.

Blanchette said that the crew of Canadian frigate HMCS Charlottetown have boarded one suspicious vessel and intercepted 41 boats off the North African coast. NATO ships have hailed 298 ships and boarded six in total.

[Source: The Gazette, Montreal, Can, 13Apr11]

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