A message from the RCAF Command Team on COVID-19

News Article / April 28, 2020

Dear families and members of the RCAF Team,

Thanks to all of you who are supporting on-going RCAF activities in Canada and abroad and to those that are working safely from home. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed! We commend all members of the RCAF Team for the continued discipline to carry on with essential functions and activities while preserving the force and remaining ready. Notwithstanding the unprecedented situation in our battle against the spread of COVID-19, the RCAF is contributing in many important areas while maintaining a high level of readiness to respond if necessary. This past week provided us further examples of your agility in stepping up on short notice to deliver air power effects with precision and professionalism. You continue to make us proud.

Unquestionably, the tragic events in Nova Scotia last week impacted Canadians everywhere, particularly those with ties to the many who lost their lives. Two of our Wings reside within Nova Scotia and together, we mourn the losses; and together we stand in solidarity. Senseless tragedies are challenging for all of us to deal with, so we must continue to take care of each other and not be deterred from asking for a friendly ear or reaching out for help. The recent announcement of the CAF Kids Texting help line is another pathway for children and youth of CAF members to access mental health and well-being support.

While there remains uncertainty as to the eventual trajectory of the COVID-19 virus, vaccine progress and potential follow-on waves, leadership is committed to providing as much context and direction as possible during these unprecedented times. You are encouraged to continue to read the Chief of the Defence Staff and Deputy Minister’s latest messages as many important topics are being communicated on a weekly basis. Additionally, there is a steady stream of important information, including Air Division Commander Communiques and CANFORGENs, to provide you with as many updates as possible. You’re encouraged to download the CAF App to stay up-to-date.

COVID-19 Response

Chief Warrant Officer Gaudreault and I are extremely pleased to see how the RCAF continues to contribute to the overall CAF readiness and support Canada’s whole of government response to this public health crisis. Our Op LASER Air Task Force is up and running. Our aviators have supported the airlift of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) to Rangers in the North. The RCAF is supporting the warehousing, management and distribution of medical supplies in support of the Public Health Agency. Meanwhile, the dedicated team at 8 Wing Trenton have enabled the self-isolation of personnel recently returned from overseas deployments.

To further RCAF capabilities, the Directorate of Aerospace Requirements team has been working over-time to move forward critical procurements of biocontainment systems to transport infectious patients on RCAF aircraft. These systems will complement the superb work related to on-aircraft PPE tactics, techniques, and procedures that have been developed by the 1 Cdn Air Div team to ensure the safety of our aircrew. We have no doubt that ingenuity and creativity will remain central to our continued success.  

Workplace health and safety also remains a top priority and we continue to stay aligned with CDS/DM guidance derived from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the CAF Surgeon General. To further these efforts, we are in the process of receiving shipments of non-medical masks and prioritizing distribution based on highest need. We are also seeing incredible work by many RCAF units to locally produce PPE to support CAF personnel. The Aerospace Telecommunications and Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) is also now producing thousands of needed medical-grade face shields for use by CAF Health Services personnel. We sincerely appreciate these efforts.

APS and Personnel Support

We know that uncertainty around postings this APS is among the top concerns of our members and families. Next to conducting operations, bringing clarity to postings this summer is our top priority. We are finalizing the RCAF posting plot review to align with extant CAF direction and the vast majority of individuals should receive information from their chain of command and career manager by Friday 8 May, with posting messages to follow. As provinces begin to announce their plans to gradually re-open services, we anticipate direction very shortly to provide COs with the necessary tools to approve House Hunting Trips for both those currently in possession of a posting message and for those that will receive messages in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please stay in contact with your chains of command and be sure to bring forward any questions or concerns.

We are most impressed with how leadership across the RCAF have adapted to this challenging situation. Communication is vital during these times and RCAF leaders are finding innovative ways to remain connected, even with limited resources. Virtual town halls, virtual spiritual services, and even promotions in front of members’ residences are a few innovative examples of how we remain connected. We cannot overstate the importance of taking care of yourselves and of each other. For any member or family who may need assistance, we urge you to reach out to a friend, co-worker, supervisor, or chaplain. There are many resources available which you can find on the DND COVID-19 important contacts page or going to the “Resources” section of the CAF application for your mobile device.

We want to close by thanking so many of our RCAF Team for their ongoing support and commitment. CWO Gaudreault and I also want to especially recognize our many RCAF Honorary Colonels. These talented individuals are an important bridge between the RCAF and communities across Canada. Many of these leaders continue to play an important role, not just in supporting our Wing and Unit personnel, but also in supporting our communities – especially in times of need. It is a strong reminder to all of us to continue thinking about communities: the ones in which we live, the ones in which we work, and the ones, like the RCAF, where we remain a part of always.

Thanks to all of you and your families for your enduring dedication.

 

Lieutenant-General A. D. Meinzinger,
Commander RCAF

Chief Warrant Officer J. R. D. Gaudreault,
RCAF Chief Warrant Officer


 

Join the RCAF - Dare to be extraordinary

Social Work Officers deliver professional social work services in a military setting to support the morale, efficiency and mental health of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families. Social Work Officers offer clinical social work services similar to community mental health and social services agencies.

As well as the full range of challenges common to Canadian society, CAF members and their families cope with additional stresses associated with frequent moves and separations. These stresses can give rise to social and family circumstances that involve complex social work interventions.

The primary responsibilities of a Social Work Officer are to:

         - Provide clinical intervention services
         - Assist in the resolution of compassionate situations
         - Consult with and advise leaders on the social circumstances encountered by personnel in their units
         - Investigate and report compassionate situations
         - Deliver preventive and rehabilitative programs in the areas of:
                   - Pre- and post-deployment stress
                   - Suicide prevention
                   - Family violence

http://forces.ca/en/career/social-work-officer/

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