During April 1-5, 2007, 19 Wing CFB Comox hosted the 12th annual ARCTIC SAREX exercise. This international event involves the largest nations that border the Arctic - Russia, United States of America and Canada. The goal of this exercises is to test the alerting system of all 3 nations and exercise their ability to deploy, coordinate and assist each other in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. Arctic SAREX allows each country to learn from each others procedures resulting in greater success in a real world situation.
The 2007 training scenario was based on a simulated major air disaster located on farmland near 19 Wing Comox. With Russia only sending observers this year, the SAR units from Canada and the U.S. worked together to access and evaculate the airliner "survivors"(played by 19 Wing Comox volunteers). Canada and the U.S. would be operating several types of aircraft during the exercise including American HC-130 Hercules, HH-60 Blackhawks, Canadian; CC-115 Buffalo, CH-149 Cormorant, CC-130 Hercules, CH-146 Griffon and a CP-140 Aurora. Some of these aircraft operated at a Forward Operating Base located at Campbell River Airport a few miles north of the crash site.