Pardon our noise, it's the sound of freedom, Public invited to send thanks to Canadians

SAA News Release


Pardon our noise, it's the sound of freedom

Public invited to send thanks to Canadian Forces

Salina, Kan., (June 21, 2011) - Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! Okay it's a plane. A Canadian F-18 Hornet to be more precise.

Salina residents have become more accustomed to the sounds of freedom and our neighbors to the north are feeling more at home as the Salina Municipal Airport is now a regular forward operating location for the Canadian Army and Air Force.


CF-18s on the flightline in Salina. Canada's Tactical Fighter Squadrons have an economic impact of close to $2 million each deployment.

"Salina always treats us well," said Capt. Tyler West, detachment commanding officer. "We really enjoy it here. It's good training."

The Canadian Air Force is supporting the Army during forward air controller training. The Army FACs will be training to serve as the eyes on the ground for the Air Force pilots. Through a number of methods, FACs communicate with the inbound pilots, guiding them to destroy enemy targets and minimize collateral damage.

A composite squadron of airmen and equipment from 409 and 425 Tactical Fighting Squadrons along with U.S. Navy and U.S. Army exchange pilots have come together for this vital mission.

The airport's close proximity to the Smoky Hill Weapons Range is key for this type of training. Military units get "more bang for their buck," pun intended. The less time pilots spend in the air getting to the training venue the more time and fuel, they can spend over it training the guys on the ground and sharpening their own skills as well.

Salina residents shouldn't need worry about any loud bangs though; out on the Smoky Hill Weapons range they will be destroying mock enemies with practice ordinance.

The Salina Airport Authority is proud to aid the fighting men and women of Canada as they prepare for combat deployments in support of U.S. and Allied Forces. If you would like to send your thanks and support to our Canadian allies please write to wings@salinaairport.com.

The squadron will be in Salina until mid-July.

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$09 TFS

The 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron was reformed on 6 July 2006 at 4 Wing Cold Lake by amalgamating personnel and aircraft from 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron.

The newly reformed 409 Squadron continues the duties of both 416 and 441 Squadrons and, assisted by 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron , deploys tactical fighter forces to meet Canadian and allied defense needs. Under the umbrella of the NORAD mission, fighter crews are on stand-by 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to respond to any aerospace threat.

The newly reformed 409 Squadron is now 4 Wing's operational CF-18 Squadron.

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425 TFS

The 425 Squadron formed up on 25 June 1942 in Yorkshire, England. Its designation as the "First French Canadian Squadron" and its lark emblem, "Les Alouettes", made it a special squadron and it accordingly adopted the motto "Je te plumerai" ("I shall pluck you"). 425 Squadron, flying Wellingtons, Halifaxes and Lancasters, carried out over 287 bombing raids and earned more than 190 decorations during World War Two.

Like many other squadrons, 425 was decommissioned at the end of the war. It was reactivated in 1954 at St-Hubert, Quebec, equipped with the CF-100, the last Canadian-designed and built fighter. Its new role was that of all-weather fighter interceptor within the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD). In 1961, 425 Squadron was re-equipped with the CF-101 Voodoo at Namao, Alberta.

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Joint Training

Located 10 miles west of Salina, Kan., the Smoky Hill Weapons Range is the largest and busiest Air National Guard bombing range in the nation, encompassing 51 square miles, and has more than 100 tactical targets and an electronic warfare range. The complex provides approximately 36 thousand acres for combined arms training, allowing active and reserve component military organizations to train jointly in a realistic environment that combines ground and air assets in operational training in a way that's possible at only a few sites throughout the United States. The Smoky Hill range provides airspace within a Federal Aviation Administration sanctioned Military Operational Area, which permits active and reserve units to operate both piloted and unmanned aircraft in training scenarios.

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The Salina Airport Authority has developed the premier airport and industrial center in the Midwest. The board of directors and staff are proactive in providing the citizens of Salina,Saline County and North Central Kansas with a center that support business and industry which in turn, provides jobs and payroll that benefit the region.

The Salina Airport Authority is home to the Salina Municipal Airport, the Salina Aviation Service Center and the Salina Airport Industrial Center.

Source: Salina Airport Authority

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