17 WING WINNIPEG, Man. –The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, visited units at 17 Wing on July 26 after announcing a $3.9 million renovation to the 23 Health Services Clinic.
This is the second time this year the Minister has toured units on the Wing, but this time his tour focused on schools, support elements and lodger units.
Minister MacKay listened intently and occasionally made notes as he toured the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) Child Care Centre, the 17 Wing Central Heating Plant, the 23 Health Services Clinic, the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU), and finally the Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training before departing the Wing.
The Minister discussed future expansion plans of the Child Care Centre with Director, Lois Johnson, MFRC Executive Director Don Brennan, and 17 Wing Commander Colonel Blaise Frawley. During the visit the Minister interacted with the children in the preschool and school age programs.
At the 17 Wing Central Heating Plant Minister MacKay was hosted by Wing Construction Engineering Officer Major Steve Cumpsty, who showed him an example of the valve that failed last year at the plant and discussed some of the future challenges with central heating plants across the Forces.
Medical Technicians at 23 Health Services Clinic gave the Minister a very realistic look at what happens when a battlefield trauma case is first brought into a medical aid station. Minister MacKay was brought in to the exercise as an extra set of hands to help apply pressure to a simulated wound. After the exercise ended the Minister talked to the technicians and thanked all of them for their service to their country and their fellow Canadian Forces members.
The next stop on the tour of Wing support units was the JPSU where the Minister received a briefing from Major Richard Desjardins, the new Officer Commanding the unit, and met with two members returning to work after illnesses. The Minister also had the pleasure of seeing the Habs memorabilia of former 17 Wing Chief Warrant Officer Frank Emond (Ret.).
The final stop of the Minister’s extremely busy day was the Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training where he strapped in to a flight simulator and attempted to follow another aircraft while his oxygen was slowly reduced, a sensation that all air crew must be familiar with for early detection. The Minister admitted to experiencing the mild hypoxic effects of a quicker heart rate and some effort in breathing during the simulation ride.
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