Sept. 22, 2011
By Sgt Bill McLeod
Wing Public Affairs Photojournalist
What’s big, grey, and weighs 82,000 pounds empty? On 14 September 2011, nine teams from 17 Wing found out when they attempted to move a CC-130 Hercules (Herc) aircraft 50 feet across the tarmac in the fastest time.
“There is an extra bonus that goes to charity if the aircraft gets airborne,” said Master of Ceremonies and 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron Honorary Colonel John Sauder after watching the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies do the first pull.
This year’s winner of the Herc Pull was the team from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron. The team managed to move the Herc with a low time of 14.19 seconds and won the honour of representing 17 Wing at the Winnipeg-wide plane pull. That event is held at the Stevenson Campus of Red River College, located just north of the base. The team representing 17 Wing won the city-wide event in 2009, but was beaten by Standard Aero last year.
The annual 17 Wing Herc Pull marks the official kickoff of the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) at the Wing. Music by the Royal Canadian Air Force Band and a barbecue for participants and spectators added to the festival-like atmosphere of the event.
In Yellowknife, 17 Wing’s 440 Squadron also participated in a “Haul the Herc” event last week. Pulling against 16 other local teams, the “Arctic Bats” hauled a civilian First Air C-130 Hercules in front of the “Bat Cave” (440 Squadron’s hangar) and helped raise $16,000 for the local community campaign.
This year’s GCWCC co-chairs for 17 Wing are Heather Harding from Wing Construction Engineers and Captain Melissa Dawe from 435 Squadron.
Last year, 17 Wing raised $145,194, $20,000 above the goal of $125,000, making the Wing the number one fundraising group in the Winnipeg GCWCC area. This year’s goal is $130,000 but as Harding noted, “I was blown away last year and I hope to be blown away again this year.”
17 Wing Commander Colonel Blaise Frawley said, “It’s great to win, it’s great to be number one in the city, but really it’s all about raising money for the charities. It’s about giving back to the local community and to those less fortunate than we are.”
The Government of Canada, in conjunction with the United Way and Health Partners, established the GCWCC as a way of coordinating all locally represented Federal Departments in their fund-raising initiatives. The GCWCC is the largest community-wide fundraising effort in the city and is the only external charitable campaign authorized by the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces at 17 Wing.
For more information about the GCWCC please visit