Exercise COOPERAÇION means multinational success

News Article / November 15, 2021

By Capt Maxime Cliche, 3 Wing Bagotville

The Canadian Armed Forces visited Colombia (South America) from 30 August to 11 September 2021 to participate in Exercise COOPERAÇION.

Canada and 13 other countries trained and were evaluated against the standard procedures of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA) in the use of air power in response to natural disasters and large-scale humanitarian relief.

Over the length of the two-week exercise, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s “work horse”, the CC-130 Hercules, was used to transport equipment and personnel in support of the training scenarios. Two such scenarios tested SICOFAA’s interoperability to conduct search and rescue missions quickly and effectively in a multinational context.

Deployed as a medical technician integrated into the international medical team, Corporal Jean-Sébastien Lemaire from 25 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre in Bagotville had much to say about his participation.

“It was a really enriching experience as it let us see how the other countries operate. Even if the language barrier might cause difficulties sometimes, all the participants have the same objective, and this allows us to be effective despite the circumstances.”

Supporting the exercise’s international programming team, 2 Wing’s Major Christine Montoya also found the experience rewarding.

“The variety of the trades and elements working together is truly impressive. For a number of countries, it’s the first time they are collaborating in such a direct manner with members from other elements, and its an experience they can bring back to their respective countries.”

Born in Brazil, Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Willrich, the Canadian Air Task Force (ATF) Commander, believes that the cultural diversity of ATF was a major asset.

“More than half of the Canadian contingent had Latin-American heritage. This diversity helped the mission in terms of communications, but also culturally, facilitating cooperation between the Canadian Armed Forces and other SICOFAA allies."

The next Exercise COOPERAÇION will take place two years from now in Peru.

Stay up to date

Date modified: