21st annual Honorary Colonels’ Conference: Focus on RCAF operations and capabilities

News Article / October 6, 2014

By RCAF Public affairs

The 21st annual Royal Canadian Air Force Honorary Colonels’ Conference took place from September 3 to 5 in Québec City, Quebec.

The goal of this year’s conference was to update the honorary colonels on RCAF domestic and international operations as well as its capabilities in the future.

“[Honorary colonels] may mentor the commanding officer and members of the unit, help build relationships with other units through the honorary colonel network, and aid in ensuring the maintenance of customs and traditions,” said Colonel (retired) Dave Peart, who is responsible for the RCAF’s honorary colonels program.

“By their very presence and name, they build and develop community support for their units.”

There were two special highlights for the 65 honorary colonels who attended this year’s conference. Governor General David Johnston attended part of the conference, and discussed the importance of community service with the honoraries. Keen on meeting all the honorary colonels, he stayed for a stand-up luncheon with the attendees following the more formal events of the morning. 

Accompanied by Lieutenant-General Blondin, Governor General Johnston also presented Ms. Loreena McKennitt with her scroll marking her appointment as the new honorary colonel of the RCAF.

Honorary Colonel McKennitt previously served as the honorary colonel of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, located at 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba. As honorary colonel of the RCAF, she will now work directly with the RCAF’s commander.

During the conference, the honoraries also heard from a diverse group of RCAF presenters, including Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, commander of the RCAF; Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Young, the RCAF chief warrant officer; Major-General David Wheeler, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region; Brigadier-General Sean Friday, the director general of Air Force readiness, Brigadier-General Philip Garbutt, the director general of force development; the 2 Wing Commander, Colonel Erick Simoneau, the commander of 2 Wing Bagotville, Quebec; and Colonel Sylvain Ménard, the commander of 3 Wing Bagotville.

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