9 Wing welcomes new commander

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News Article / August 3, 2017

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By Adam Randell

Lieutenant-Colonel Jenn Weissenborn assumed command of 9 Wing Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, on July 18, 2017.

The Change of Command ceremony saw Lieutenant-Colonel Weissenborn, outgoing wing commander Colonel Pierre Haché, and presiding officer Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, sign the Change of Command documents in sunshine under a clear sky.

For Lieutenant-Colonel Weissenborn, taking up this command is almost like coming home: 9 Wing Gander was her first operational posting. And she is honoured to take up the position. “I look forward to working with all of you and maintaining the high standards of service and dedication that the air force and the country have come to expect from this 9 Wing team,” she told the parade and those in attendance. “This Wing embodies the model, ‘Mission First, People Always’, and I will ensure you are always resourced and able to carry out your mission.”

Following one last inspection and parade, Colonel Pierre Haché signed the paperwork, officially turning over a command he assumed in 2015. He looks back at the last two years as both challenging and rewarding. “We are deemed semi-isolated; infrastructure seems to lag behind that of other bases; it can be challenging to attract military members to this area, for reasons of cost of living, distances or simply the unknown of this faraway province,” he said. “Yet, if I were asked what I achieved during my time as commander, I can spell out any number of things we have done together.”

Colonel Haché noted that during his tenure at Gander, new services were introduced at the base for members and their families, a renewal plan ensured 9 Wing’s viability for the future, operational responsiveness was improved, and new ties with key partners and stakeholders were formed. “Unequivocally, we moved the yard stick forward, and we did so in an incredible fashion,” he said. He also sees room for improvement, noting that projects still being considered in the renewal of 9 Wing include a wash bay hangar for 103 Squadron, base access, a mid-life upgrade for the CH-149 Cormorant, a repair pool, and a support system for military members and families.

He said that both he and his wife, Shannon, consider this tour to have been their best posting, by far, and that they will forever cherish the wonderful friends they have made, and the incredible resilience of the people of Gander, and Newfoundland and Labrador. “If there is one thing that gives me the most pride and satisfaction from my time here, it is the interaction that I have had with each and every one of you. These moments are what will stay with me and Shannon forever.”

Colonel Haché is moving on to Gatineau, Québec, where he will serve as Director of Aerospace Equipment and Project Management for the tactical aviation fleets of CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, and for all Air Force simulators.

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