Colonel David. W. Forbes, CD
Colonel (Col) David Forbes was raised in Southern Ontario where his extended family still resides. Having joined the Canadian Forces in 1997, Col Forbes attended the Royal Military College, graduating in 2001. Owing to a two-year delay for pilot training, he was allowed to travel to Queensland Australia to complete a Master’s Degree in International Relations.
Upon his return, Col Forbes completed pilot training, was selected to fly Griffon Tactical Helicopters, and began serving with 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron in 2004. In the spring of 2010, he deployed as part of Canada’s Special Operations Task Force to Kandahar, Afghanistan flying Russian-built Mi-17 “Hip” helicopters.
Immediately following this deployment, Col Forbes was posted to 1 Wing HQ, Kingston, as the A5 Plans Officer tasked with the integration of the new CH147F Chinook helicopter into 1 Wing.
Col Forbes was then posted to 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron during a busy and extended high-readiness period; first as the Operations Officer and later as a Flight Commander. In November 2013, he deployed as a detachment commander to the Philippines on Operation RENAISSANCE-13 as part of Canada’s humanitarian response to Super-Typhoon HAIYAN; the most powerful storm ever recorded.
Following Command and Staff College, Col Forbes spent one year working on the Strong-Secure-Engaged defence policy in Ottawa and two years as the Senior Staff Officer for Tactical Aviation at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg. Col Forbes then served as the Commanding Officer of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton. Leaving unit command, Col Forbes was posted to Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa as the Executive Assistant to the Commander and, once promoted to his current rank, as the Director of Continental Operations.
Col Forbes holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Politics from the Royal Military College of Canada, a Masters Degree in International Relations from Bond University, and another in Defence Studies from the Canadian Forces College, as well as a college diploma in aircraft mechanics. Col Forbes is a graduate of the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston and of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Joint Command and Staff Program in Toronto.
Col Forbes’ wife is a social worker who predominantly supports children, youth, and families. He spends his spare time hiking and camping with his wife and dog, tinkering on mechanical projects in the garage, and flying and maintaining light aircraft.