DND Press Release
By: Capt Matt Zalot, Public Affairs Officer, Joint Task Force Iraq Detachment Erbil (JTF-I Erbil)
Major Mathieu Bertrand assumed command of the Operation IMPACT Tactical Aviation Detachment in Northern Iraq from Lieutenant-Colonel Carol Potvin at a ceremony on January 14, 2017. Major Bertrand previously served as the detachment’s Operations Officer and Deputy Commanding Officer.
Colonel Luc Guillette, Commander of Air Task Force-Iraq, presided over the change-of-command ceremony, which took place at Canadian Camp Érable near Erbil, Iraq. During the ceremony, Lieutenant-Colonel Potvin spoke briefly about the work performed by the squadron during his watch. Major Bertrand also spoke to the attendees, noting the need to build on past accomplishments for future missions.
“The Tactical Aviation Detachment will continue to play an important role in the advise and assist mission to counter Daesh,” said Major Bertrand. “We have all made a contribution to the Coalition’s efforts and the squadron will continue to work hard and build on our previous successes.”
Major Bertrand joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1999 and has amassed significant experience in the world of search and rescue. He served at 439 Combat Support Squadron, based out of Bagotville, Quebec, before being posted to 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Valcartier, Quebec. As part of 430 Squadron he served in Afghanistan and Haiti. Before his deployment to Iraq, he served as Detachment Commander and Deputy Commander for Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Quebec.
Since October 6, 2016, when they took over from 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron, 430 Squadron has been leading the Royal Canadian Air Force’s tactical aviation efforts in Erbil, Iraq. The CH-146 Griffon helicopters provide tactical transport of Canadian troops, equipment, and supplies.
Canada remains a committed partner to the Global Coalition against Daesh. As part of Joint Task Force-Iraq, Air Task Force-Iraq contributes to Coalition air operations against Daesh to improve security in Iraq and in the region.