Watch for Royal Canadian Air Force helicopters over the Okanagan and Revelstoke areas from March 11-30.
The 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron will be flying CH-146 Griffon helicopters out of the Penticton Airport.
Exercise FAUCON ALPIN is part of the squadron’s training regime to ensure operational readiness, including operating in a mountain environment.
“Mountain flying presents a variety of challenges for helicopter operations, and it is crucial that crews receive regular training to ensure they can conduct mountain operations safely and effectively,” said the Canadian Armed Forces in a news release.
Communities in the Okanagan Valley can expect to see and hear helicopters, however the squadron will do everything possible to reduce their impact on communities, according to the news release.
As a precaution, 430 Squadron has put COVID-prevention procedures in place to minimize exposure risks for both local communities and exercise personnel.
All members will quarantine and pass a COVID-19 test prior to arriving in B.C. and will abide by all provincial health measures.
All RCAF members participating in the exercise, as well as the helicopters, will be transported to and from Kelowna via RCAF airlift (the helicopters will transit to Penticton from there).
People in the area can expect to see large military transports flying in and out of the airport in the days before and after the exercise.
The 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron is normally based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Quebec. Their principal role is supporting Canadian Army units of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, and land forces in Eastern Canada.