436 Transport Squadron welcomes new honorary colonel

News Article / November 13, 2019

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8 Wing Trenton

Members of 436 Transport Squadron warmly welcomed their new honorary colonel, Cathie Puckering, during an investiture ceremony at 8 Wing Trenton on November 1, 2019.

Honorary Colonel Puckering succeeded Honorary Colonel Julie Lange, who had held the position since 2015.

Honorary Colonel Puckering is CEO of the John C, Munro Hamilton International Airport. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, she is a chartered professional accountant and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours degree from Laurentian University.

“I am a proud supporter of Canada’s military and as the sister of an officer currently based in Bagotville, Quebec, I consider the Royal Canadian Air Force as family” she said.  “In addition to my family ties, my role at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport complements my new role as an honorary colonel. The airport was first built in 1940 as a wartime air force training station but transitioned from a military establishment into a public facility following World War II, coincidentally around the time that 436 Transport Squadron was formed.”

“Honorary Colonel Puckering will be a great representative for 436 Squadron,” remarked Lieutenant-Colonel Andy Bowser, the commanding officer of 436 Squadron. “As an active member of the community, she espouses the same values of commitment, charity and teamwork as we do. As we celebrate the squadron‘s 75th anniversary this year, we are proud to have her with ‘Canucks Unlimited’. I thank Honorary Colonel Lange for her work in the community and at the squadron, and for her support and guidance to the squadron during the past four years.”

Before joining the John C Munro Airport in 1999, Honorary Colonel Puckering was controller at CARSTAR Automotive Canada. She is an active volunteer with Liberty for Youth and CityzKidz in Hamilton—programs to provide inspirational experiences, mentoring and support to high-risk children. She is also an active supporter of United Way, Canadian Cancer Society and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and a member of the Hamilton and Burlington Chambers of Commerce.

The responsibilities of honorary appointments include fostering esprit de corps, developing, promoting and sustaining strong community support for the unit, establishing and maintaining liaison with unit charities and associations, establishing and maintaining a liaison with the Commander as well as with other persons with honorary appointments, participating in parades and official functions in which the unit takes part, and advising the unit’s commander.

436 Squadron

436 Transport Squadron was formed in India during the Second World War late in 1944. Equipped with the C-47 Dakota, the squadron's role was to supply troops and materiel to the Allied 14th Army in Burma. The squadron adopted the moniker “Canucks Unlimited” soon after arriving in the China-Burma-India theatre of operations.

Proud of their heritage and achievements in air transport, 436 Transport Squadron operates the "workhorse" of the Royal Canadian Air Force transport fleet—the CC-130J Hercules. Living up to their motto "Onus Portamus" ("We Carry the Load"), 436 Squadron members are tasked with carrying personnel and materiel on a global response basis.

The squadron is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019.

436 Squadron has participated in virtually every major airlift operation in which the CanadianArmed Forces have been involved in since the squadron’s post-Second World War reactivation in 1953. In 2018, the squadron added the “Afghanistan” battle honour to their Colours, recognizing their service throughout the Afghanistan mission.

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