By MWO Normand Marion, 16 Wing
On Thursday 25 July 2002, a Change of Command ceremony took place at 16 Wing to mark the departure of 16 Wing Commander, Colonel Jerry Gillis, CD, and the passing of his command to Colonel Peter Abbott. OMM, CD. The Presiding Officer for the occasion was the Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management (DGAEPM), Brigadier-General Dwayne Lucas, OMM, CD.
After leading for the last time his troops for a march past, Colonel Gillis gave his farewell address in front of a large crowd that included several dignitaries as well as many personal friends. He thanked all those who assisted him over the past three years and he described those years as having provided him with enormous challenge, change and great satisfaction.
He reminded the staff from the Wing's schools of the important role that they play in shaping young Air Force personnel and moulding them into full-fledged members of the team. "It is the place where we can exert the greatest influence in winning their hearts and minds, so that they will see the Air Force as their career of choice," said the outgoing Wing Commander.
Colonel Gillis concluded with praise for the people of 16 Wing for their professionalism, infectious enthusiasm and ability to balance the priorities of work and family. "I have come to consider you a part of my extended family and I will dearly cherish these memories and friendships that I have made during my tenure."
Colonel Gillis is posted to the Canadian Forces College in Toronto as the new Director of Curriculum Support.
In his first address to 16 Wing, the new Wing Commander, Colonel Abbott, recognized the tremendous work of Colonel Gillis during his tenure. He singled out his efforts toward the preservation of the Borden hangars as a National Historic Site, as well as his perseverance in the acquisition of "the most modern training aid in the world" for the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Operations, in Cornwall.
While acknowledging the reality of resource limitations and increasing demands on staff, Colonel Abbott told the members of 16 Wing that they will need to look past the challenges and the obstacles to the opportunities that lie waiting "So let’s continue to move forward, mindful of our past, conscious of our present, and focused on our future," he concluded.
Colonel Abbott joined the Canadian Forces in 1969 as an aircraft technician and was commissioned from the ranks in 1981. As an Aerospace Engineering Officer he served with a number of helicopter squadrons including 403 Sqn in Gagetown, N.B., 427 Sqn in Petawawa, Ont, and 442 Sqn in Comox, B.C. He also spent time with the Directorate of Flight Safety in Ottawa and as Deputy Wing Commander and Chief of Staff at 1 Wing Headquarters in Kingston, Ont.
Prior to coming to Borden he was Chief of the NORAD Readiness Division at the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Centre in Colorado Springs, USA.
Colonel Abbott is joining us from Colorado Springs with his wife Joanne. They have three grown children, Angela, Stephen and Adrienne.
News & Events - News Room
16 Wing Gets New Wing Commander
July 31, 2002
The new 16 Wing Commander, Col Peter Abbott, leads 16 Wing for a March Past (Photo: Cpl Kevin Paul)2002/Abbott_March_Past.jpg
By MWO Normand Marion, 16 Wing