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Canada asks British military for help flying troops to and from Latvia

Last Updated Jul 10, 2020 at 4:08 am EDT

OTTAWA — Canadian troops are being forced to hitch a ride with the British military to get to and from Latvia due to a shortage of working planes.

A CC-150 Polaris was to carry about 120 Canadian soldiers to Latvia on Wednesday and fly back with a similar number of returning troops.

Yet the Defence Department says those plans changed after a problem was found with the plane’s landing gear, which is when the military asked the British for help.

The Air Force has three Polaris capable of ferrying personnel to different parts of the world but the Defence Department says the other two were unavailable.

One is currently ferrying troops to and from the Middle East while the third — which normally serves as the prime minister’s plane — is out of commission until at least January after a hangar accident last October.

Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande says the British plane took off with the 120 departing troops on Thursday and will return with a similar number of soldiers in the coming days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press