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Search and Rescue technicians practice in Gatineau

Around 85 military search and rescue technicians from the 424 Squadron out of Trenton are in Gatineau this week as they participate in a training exercise called Tigerex.

Technicians dressed in orange plunged out of a CC-130 Hercules circulating above Mont Cascades.

They were working to save a group of people in a pickup truck posing as a downed Cessna Caravan.

This exercise is based off of an actual crash that took place in British Columbia and Capt. Joel Comeault said these types of exercises are invaluable.

"This is worth a lot," he said. "It really is. The deployment phase, the logistics is huge and ... the training in all the different environments for our guys. We saw them parachute in and even as just us not even parachuters we could almost identify how difficult it was for them to come in and land here. Nothing's ever straight forward. When you're just training back home in Trenton all the time, it gets monotonous, so it's nice to get out and train elsewhere."

Training in locations like Mont Cascades happens once a year and Capt. Comeault said it also gives newer technicians the experience needed should an actual emergency occur.

The exercise Tuesday was just part of Tigerex.

"The main project that we do here, the reason why we came to Gatineau is to practice our deployed search and rescue operation phase, so operating away from our main base in Trenton," said Comeault. "What would happen is a search in Northern Quebec for example, or a good example nowadays would be the Malaysian Airlines, where you're in an area away from your main operating base, where it doesn't make sense to make that transit, a couple hours transit to and from the search area, so you deploy your assets to a forward location and operate out of there."

The 424 Squadron, which is made up of around 200 people, is in charge of responding to calls in most of Ontario, Western Quebec and Canada's North. They are called out around 250 times a year.

Tigerex wraps up at the end of the week.

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