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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Operation IMPACT Long Range Patrol surpasses 700 missions

By: Major Paul Doucette, Joint Task Force- Iraq Public Affairs Officer

Joint Task Force Iraq’s Long Range Patrol Detachment reached a major milestone last month when it carried out its 700th mission since beginning operations in the region in late 2014.
Man in front of plane
A CP-140 M Aurora taxis to a parking spot at its base in Kuwait, following the successful completion of the Operation IMPACT Long Range Patrol Detachment’s 700th mission on February 28, 2017. This photo has been modified for OPSEC purposes. (Photo Credit: Corporal PJ L├ętourneau, JTF-I Image Technician)
The detachment has two CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft that conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions over points of interest in Iraq and Syria. A point of interest is a specific location that may be assessed as useful or of interest in the identification of a potential legitimate military target and which may or not become a target itself.

While all possible measures to mitigate risk are taken, any mission over enemy territory is not without risks. For the CP-140 crews, their missions take them over a variety of potential Daesh targets. The work is meticulous and can be painstaking with each mission lasting for hours as information on particular points of interest is collected for further analysis. The end state comes when an enemy target is clearly identified and, after all due process is followed, then engaged by coalition assets.

“These flights show the resilience and versatility of the CP-140 and its crews,” said Colonel Luc Guillette, Commander of Operation IMPACT’s Air Task Force. “By flying these demanding missions on a daily basis, we have denied Daesh freedom of movement and helped to wear them down to the point where they are today.”

Since October 30, 2014, the coalition has employed two CP-140 Aurora aircraft. Flying within the area of operations, the aircraft employs Electro Optic sensors, as well as various other sensors to provide ISR imagery for coalition strike assets and target development. The CP-140 aircraft and crews generally fly six or seven days a week.