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RCAF Fighter Squadrons Take Part in Exercise Cougar South in New Orleans


Image: A CF-188 Hornet pilot exits the aircraft after a flight at the Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base in Romania during Operation REASSURANCE, October 17, 2022. Credit: Corporal Eric Chaput, CAF

Several Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) tactical fighter squadrons and support units are participating in a major exercise at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans, Louisiana until late April.

Exercise Cougar South runs from mid-March until April 24. Personnel from 3 Wing, Bagotville, Quebec; 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta; 8 Wing, Trenton, Ontario; and 17 Wing, Winnipeg, Manitoba are participating in training that covers the full spectrum of tactical employment of the CF-18 Hornet. This includes scenario-based missions; air combat tactics; close air support training; air-to-air refueling training; and employment of precision-guided munitions.

This high-tempo, large-scale exercise is intended to increase the RCAF’s fighter force readiness and maintain tactical fighter interoperability between the RCAF, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps. This training is essential, particularly during periods where the weather can limit training in Canada.




• Twelve CF-18 Hornets are participating and will fly daily sorties.

• 425 and 433 Tactical Fighter Squadrons and 12 Radar Squadron from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec along with 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron and 42 Radar Squadrons from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta are participating in the training.

• Air-to-air refueling support for the exercise will be provided by RCAF CC-150T Polaris tanker aircraft from 437 Transport Squadron, 8 Wing, Trenton, Ontario and CC-130T Hercules from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron (based in Winnipeg), 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia.

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