CLO Reflection on 2019 From Capt. Marty Zimmer…

With 2019 quickly coming to a conclusion I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on what a significant year that we have all had in SAR and share some of our successes.  In all on my 34 years of SAR experience I can honestly say that this has been one of the busiest years on record, particularly due to the numerous significant  search operations that we have had to support.  With three (almost four) Major Search Operations occurring within the same Search and Rescue Region (SRR) within a six month period required significant support from the SAR community.  Over 350 personnel were directly involved in these operations and more than  1000 hours flown by search aircraft. This was an incredible feat.  We barely had time to recover from one search before we were deploying on the next operation.  To give you an idea of the scope of these operations, we supported a deployed force that flew more hours in one week than we flew on two of our Major RCAF deployments, Operation Impact (Airbus in Kuwait) and Operation Presence (C130J in Uganda) combined do in a month. Additionally while these major search operations were ongoing the community was also supporting other SAR taskings.  As an example during the first two days of the R44 search operation in Quebec, JRCC Trenton had 10 other SAR cases, three which were additional aircraft crashes that we responded to.  With the majority of our primary SAR aircraft actively involved in these searches and unavailable for other taskings, CASARA was often called upon to provide the SAR response. Being able to accomplish all of this a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the community!

Once again CASARA/SERABEC was a major contributor to the search effort of these Major Searches and it is only through the tireless efforts of all of those involved that we were successful.  Most notable is the significant number of qualified spotters that CASARA/SERABEC provided to these operations.  As I recall we had 30+ spotters on the first operation in Timmins.  The high standard to which these spotters are trained was evident as they easily moved from one aircraft type to another to ensure all aircraft were ready with sufficient search crews for each tasking .  Additionally due to the numerous search aircraft and qualified crews provided to each operation, we were able to provide quicker coverage of the search areas.  As a Search Master this is the most important thing as we are trying to locate any survivors in the early stages of the search.

In addition to the Major Search activity, CASARA/SERABEC also responded to numerous ELT searches, both ground and air and supported other SAR agencies on Humanitarian cases.  Some interesting searches through buildings and junk piles to find and isolate the various distress beacons was completed in a timely manner. We also saw significant commitment by new members as we stood up new units and requalified many zones.  CASARA also continues to be the lead with implementing new technology into SAR response. Whether it is trialing new projects such as the drone search capability, night vision goggles or working with other national or international organizations (USA) to implement new systems (ADS-B), you continue make strives to increase our SAR response and detection capabilities.

Your commitment in supporting the RCAF training requirements is key to ensure that we are able to force generated new crews.  Without this support we would be unable to upgrade new crews who are ultimately our primary SAR crews.  For 2019 CASARA and SERABEC supported 40 training exercises that involved a variety of crash exercises, beacon homing exercises, aircraft intercepts in addition to providing ground support for live para exercises.  With many of these being last minute requests, the Sqn. upgrade process could not have been completed without your support.  The ultimate result of your commitment to supporting these exercises has resulted in 424 Sqn. upgrading three new Herc aircraft commanders, one flight engineer, one load master and four new Griffon aircraft commanders. 

Overall, it has been an incredible SAR season and you should all be very proud of your efforts.  As I do not have a crystal ball to tell what 2020 will bring, I know that as professionals we will all be ready to respond to whatever the new year will bring. 

As your CLO it has been a pleasure to work with all of you this past year and myself, Glenn and Claude look forward to working with everyone in the new year.

Have a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Captain Marty Zimmer 
 CASARA Liaison Officer 
 424 Squadron 
 Canadian Armed Forces 
 Captain Marty  Zimmer 
 Officier de Liaison CASARA 
 Détachement esc 424 
 Forces armées canadiennes 

Every year we gather up the best photos from across Ontario and publish them here for your enjoyment over the holidays. It demonstrates the ongoing contribution of CASARA and the individual dedication of all our members.

“That others may live”

This is a work in progress so please continue to send in your photos!

Congratulations to Zone 08 New Liskeard on their very successful training weekend!

On the weekend of August 23-25th, Zone 08 New Liskeard took part in a major training exercise. Check out the article reprinted with permission and courtesy of the Temiskaming Speaker.


It was another very successful weekend in St. Thomas as CASARA London hosted what has become a bi-annual event with zones from Niagara, Ottawa, London and Edenvale. The focus of this exercise has been two-fold. Interoperabilty between CASARA and our other SAR partners including the CCGA, RCAF Local EMS and Fire as well as our amateur radio partners. Secondly, it provided an opportunity for all zones to share best practices and some comaraderie in a non-actual setting. We have seen many of our fellow CASARA members recently however it has usually been on an Actual search. This weekend gave everyone a chance to catch up.

Enjoy the photos below…

Mass briefing
Andre, Jen and Wayne. Notice the new paint job!…on the plane.
CF-PJO, heads up!
ForeFlight’s new Track Log tool, no cheating on speeds and altitudes now!

Breakfast at A&W…. so good!

Business end of C-FTES 337G Skymaster

Sunset over St. Thomas CYQS

by Eric Cline


The Northwestern Ontario Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA Thunder Bay) had a role in CHINTHEX 2019 – May 06 -10. For the second consecutive year 435SQN based in Winnipeg, MB held its spring training exercise (CHINTHEX) in Thunder Bay and area. NOASARA members had many unique opportunities to participate in various activities ranging from flying intercepts, spotting from one of many CC130 Hercules, and portraying casualties for the MAJAID. New and returning members alike were impressed with the variety of airborne taskings – spotting during an intercept, assisting a disabled boat, and spotting and assisting in the dropping of nine SARtechs and Rescue Jumpers for the MAJAID. Each event offered some new experiences and provided new and updated skills and tips. Participation in events such as this helps update skills and increase our interagency operability. Regrettably this year NOASARA was the only CASARA unit involved as many of the Prairie and Northern units found the travel time too long.

Also participating in the event were air and support crews from 435SQN (Winnipeg) with 2 CC130, 424SQN (Trenton) with 1 CC130, 439SQN (Bagottville) with a CH-146 Griffon, and from south of the border; USGC Traverse City MI with a JayHawk helicopter, USAF 39 Rescue SQN (Florida) with a C130 and 304 Rescue SQN (Portland Oregon) with para-rescue jumpers. Additional participation came from CF SkyHawks demonstration team, and Ornge.

Working alongside and around all these rescue professionals, many great connections were made and skills improved. This high profile event has also helped with member recruitment. NOASARA looks forward to working with these groups in the future. 

A Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technician parachutes to a simulated plane crash during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 8th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging
Air Search and Rescue Association member, Bobbi Fisher searches for simulated casualties on a CC-130 Hercules aircraft during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 8th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging
United States Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Para Jumpers and Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technicians carry a simulated casualties on a litter during CHINTHEX near Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 7th, 2019. Photo by Cpl Bryce Cooper, 17 Wing Imaging


Sudbury wins the team award for 2019
Cheryl Kuss wins the Individual award for 2019. Her husband Dan has graciously accepted it on her behalf.


From Friday afternoon June 7th to Sunday morning June 9th the Ontario Executive has been busy digesting the past year and planning for the year ahead at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Center in London, Ontario. The business of SAR is very similar to any other corporation. Once a year the zone directors, executive, officers, our OPP liaison and our military gather for two days of intense meetings and collaboration all designed to support our members.

By Glenn Osmond.

Girls Take Flight

On April 27, 2019 several members from the CARES Niagara Zone based out of St. Catharines maintained a CASARA booth at the “Girls Take Flight” event at the Oshawa Executive Airport. Original plans to also have a static display (C182 – PJO) on the apron had to be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
The Zone used the opportunity as a SAR Awareness event to raise the profile of CASARA and our role within the SAR community. Also, not unlike the aviation industry in general, female participants are under-represented in CASARA so the occasion was also used to promote our efforts to attract and retain more female members. This event served both goals. 
Organizers reported just in excess of 1,000 attendees at the event. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 people dropped by the booth to either collect literature on display and/or to ask questions about the organization. It is estimated at least twenty-five people expressed a keen interest in learning more about the organization with the possibility of joining, some of whom were female. At least twenty parents introduced their daughters to SAR.
It is also worth noting that our location beside the Canadian Forces Recruiting booth and the Air Cadet Gliding programme also proved useful in drawing attention to the booth and served to highlight the strong association with our military partners. 424 Squadron had a static display (Griffon) on the ramp throughout the day. The Griffon crew, Captain Stef Pouliot and Major Chris Herten, took some time early in the day to drop by and say hello.
CASARA members who attended felt the event was certainly time will spent in serving one of our mandates – promoting SAR awareness and the organization in general to all who attended, particularly young women who were considering a career in aviation.

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From February 1st to 3rd. Zones from London, Niagara and Edenvale took part in BUSHEX 2019. This was a winter survival training course put on by members of 424 Transport and Rescue Sqn. Trenton and members of 1RCR from the London area. Click here to see the video.

Special thanks to Capt. Marty Zimmer for allowing 424 Sqn. to participate. Sgt. Daryl Jambrich, Canadian Army Lt. Nathan Third and 2Lt. Taso Bujouves for teaching the course, Adam Hill of CASARA London for organizing and CASARA London for hosting the event. Finally, Wayne Harvey of CASARA London for creating the awesome video above.

Sgt. Jambrich describing how to properly construct a firewall.
A proper lean too


Seldom a day goes by when we are not exposed to some form of phising email or other similar attempt to gain access to our personal and private information. In the wrong hands this information could be used to harm CASARA, its members as well as our Forces partners. Please look to the following guidelines when interacting with email.

1.Always scrutinize the addresses of both your incoming and outgoing email.

2.Do not “REPLY TO ALL” unless it is necessary (especially with military addresses).

3.During a JRCC tasking, your emails can become DND property during an investigation.

4.During a JRCC tasking, do not publish any information on your Social Media Account.

5.Never distribute information or pictures of a SAR case to anybody except JRCC/SM.

Protect your identity 

Identity Theft 101

Negative effects for victims of identity theft:

·         Financial – challenges with restoring your credit (act quickly to limit impact),

·         Emotional – stress, fear, anxiety, depression,

·         Physical – fear for physical safety, inability to focus, heart and stomach issues, inability to work,

·         Social – could affect personal relationships due to stress.

1.Toujours réviser les adresses courriel

2.Ne pas “RÉPONDRE À TOUS” si cela n’est pas nécessaire (spécialement avec des adresses militaires)

3.Pendant une tâche du CCCOS, vos courriels peuvent devenir la propriété du MDN pendant une enquête

4.Pendant une tâche du CCCOS, ne publiez aucune information sur vos médias sociaux

5.Ne distribuez jamais des informations ou des images d’un cas SAR à qui que ce soit, à l’exception du CCCOS ou MR.

Protégez votre identité

Vol d’identité 101

Effets négatifs pour les victimes de vol d’identité:

·         Financier – défis liés à la restauration de votre crédit (agissez rapidement pour limiter l’impact)

·         Émotionnel – stress, peur, anxiété, dépression,

·         Physique – peur pour la sécurité physique, incapacité à se concentrer, problème de cœur et d’estomac, incapacité de travailler,

·         Social – peut affecter les relations personnelles en raison du stress.