DT News: Operation PRESENCE Mali and a message on Phoenix pay issues

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(S) Welcome back to Defence Team News, I’m Shelley Van Hoof.

(P) And I’m Lt(N) Phillip Henry. Here are the headlines at Defence.

(P) Operation PRESENCE Mali is the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to help set conditions for durable peace, development, and prosperity in Mali.

We recently spoke to Major Mathieu Arseneault to learn more about the initial preparations undertaken by the Intermediate Staging Terminal.

(M) The purpose of the intermediate staging terminal is to receive, assemble, and project helicopters that will be in support of the Canadian contribution to the MINUSMA Mali.

So, an intermediate staging terminal is an ad hoc organization. It includes a number of trades from various units across Canada. There are construction engineers, combat engineers also who are there to set up the camp, improve infrastructure and also protect the materiel. So, unload aircraft that deliver materiel and also ship it to various other locations.

(S) Transporting, receiving, and assembling helicopters for the Air Task Force element in Mali is an essential contribution to Operation PRESENCE Mali.

A Chinook pilot from 450 Squadron tells us more about this process and what it entails.

(M) I’m Captain Matt. I’m a Chinook pilot from 450 squadron and behind me the technicians are doing a fantastic job of reassembling our Chinook. The first step was to fly them down to Trenton where they were stripped down. Basically the whole top section was taken off. Packed up inside the main body of the helicopter. And then from that point it gets loaded onto a C17 and flown over here and then offloaded it. Now we’re in the process of reassembling it, probably a couple of test flights and then we’ll be ready to fly. We didn’t fly the Chinooks directly to Africa just because of the distance associated. We could do it but it would be a lot of island hopping and we would burn a lot of airframe hours to get here. So it’s a lot simpler just to take it apart at the C17 and fly it over.

(S) Did you know that the best way to avoid new Phoenix pay issues is to enter and approve pay transactions on time?

Nearly 81% of HR transactions at DND are being submitted and approved late, meaning employees are receiving either late or incorrect pay.

(P) Employees and managers have a direct impact on preventing pay issues and we encourage you to visit the compensation and benefits section of the HR-Civ intranet to learn more about roles and responsibilities.

(S) That’s it for us. Thank you so much for watching. See you next time…

(P) …for Defence Team News!

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