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A Piece of CAF Logistics History Finds a New Home at 17 Wing Winnipeg

As 17 Wing Winnipeg prepares to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) a special ceremony was held recently to recognize the contributions of an oft unrecognized branch.

Above: A CC130 Hercules and its crew including Loadmasters, a logistics trade, are making practice cargo drops. (2014, by MCpl Johanie Maheu)

Often operating behind the scenes, the Logistics Service of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) serves as a cornerstone for all operations nationally and internationally. To recognize their important contributions Col Aaron Spott, Commanding Officer of 17 Wing, has provided a fitting home for a unique, specialized piece of logistics equipment. Known as an All-Terrain Drop Zone Recovery Vehicle (ATDZRV), this made-in-Canada vehicle is now the latest monument at the Wing.

“It is important to recognize this vehicle as an example of the diversity of trades and roles which comprise the RCAF”, said Col. Spott during the dedication ceremony.


Above: The Foremost All Terrian Drop Zone Recovery Vehicle preserved at 17 Wing Winnipeg.

The logistics operations that relied on the ATDZRV brought together multiple logistical elements and trades. Material Management Technicians meticulously inspected, packaged, and certified parachutes for airdrops, while Traffic Technicians skillfully assembled the Load, whether it was Light Equipment, Container Delivery System, or Heavy Equipment, and rigged the aircraft for airdrops. Loadmasters conducted thorough inspections of the load, parachute, and aircraft, ensuring the safe delivery of pallets exiting from the aircraft. On the ground, Mobile Support Equipment Operators with specialized training expertly maneuvered the ATDZRV to pick up and recover the dropped packages.


Above: CWO Flowers and Col Spott conducting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ATDZRV showcased at CFB Winnipeg.

These recovery vehicles were tasked with retrieving logistical supplies air-dropped by the RCAF C130 Hercules. This specific vehicle was manufactured in Calgary by Foremost Industries LP and was one of only two of its kind in the CAF and served the RCAF diligently from 1974-2016. It supported logistical sustainment training at the Mountain View Detachment within 8 Wing Trenton. The ATDZRV was deployed to recover a wide variety of supplies air-dropped by RCAF Hercules aircraft at austere and frontline locations. “Our aircraft and aircrews are typically recognized as the face of the RCAF and rightfully so,” said Col Spott. “But we are a complex team of many hardworking, professional people often labouring tirelessly behind the scenes that keep aircraft flying and the CAF running. As such this ATDZRV is a perfect example of that larger support element.” Col Spott expressed his gratitude, stating “I would like to thank CWO Flowers for his leadership, hard work, and dedication in coordinating the ATDZRV’s transport. I would also like to thank the personnel from 17 Mission Support Squadron and Real Property Operations involvement in the ATDZRV’s final placement.”


The ATDZRV stands as a testament to the indispensable roles played by the Logistics Service members, highlighting the intricate machinery and specialized training required to ensure seamless flying operations day in and day out.


Above: 17 Wing personnel gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ATDZRV on 10 October 2023

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