The U.S. military is readying older Boeing
Chinooks for the transfer to Canada to provide helicopter support for its deployment of troops to Afghanistan later this year, according to The Ottawa Citizen
. Citing private conversations with Canadian defense officials, the paper said Canadian Forces pilots are now receiving Chinook training "and should be ready for operations in Afghanistan by the fall" to support NATO operations there. Canada needs helicopters to "cut down exposure to ambushes and suicide bombers or insurgents planting improvised explosive devices," The Citizen
said. "Such attacks have claimed many of the 83 Canadian lives lost so far in Afghanistan." Canada is negotiating with Boeing
to buy 16 new Chinooks, it has yet to finalize an agreement and those aircraft aren't expected to be delivered until 2011.