It seems like it was just a year ago that Major Mark Roberts arrived at CFB North Bay and took over command of command of 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron … actually it was.
It seems like it was just a year ago that Major Mark Roberts arrived at CFB North Bay and took over command of command of 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron … actually it was. In one short year Roberts worked on providing training and support for the Vancouver Olympics, G8/G20 summits, Armed Forces Day and last Friday’s Relay for Life. And at the same time he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
During an emotional farewell speech Roberts, who is moving on to Command CEFCOM in Ottawa, said he is comfortable moving on knowing that the squadron is being left in the very capable hands Major Don Saunders.
With the stroke of three pens at the change of command ceremony Tuesday, Saunders officially took over Commander of the 51 Aerospace Control and Warning Operational Training Squadron.
Saunders, who started his career at CFB North Bay, has been the wings Deputy Commander for 51 Aerospace Control and Warning assisting with security for the Vancouver Olympics, G8/G20 summits, and logistics for Armed Forces Day and last Friday’s Relay for Life, says he is now ready to take command.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to command a squadron and I’m extremely looking forward to it,” he says.
“For us this is our home, for air defence in Canada so most of us start our career here and then we always come back. So it’s an honour to come back here again and be able to lead as well here.”
“51 Squadron is an operational training unit here and so it’s a team of professional instructors and evaluators and so more often than not I just need to make sure that everybody has the tools and resources they need to be able to perform their job.”
51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron is 22 Wing/CFB North Bay’s training squadron, responsible for providing training to military and civilian DND personnel in support of 22 Wing’s missions. This squadron is comprised of subject matter experts who maintain operational qualifications in one or more roles. The squadron’s primary mandate is trades training for aerospace controllers and aerospace control operators and readiness training for all wing members, including first aid training, weapons training and chemical/biological/radiation/nuclear training. The squadron is comprised of five flights, each with a specific tasking.
On Thursday Lieutenant Colonel DeWayne A. Nikkila (USAF) will relinquish command of 722 Air Control Squadron (ACS) at 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base (CFB) North Bay to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher A. Johnson.