19 Wing Commander
Colonel Gagnon grew up in Saint-Anselme, Québec, and enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1989. He began his military career at the Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean and graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston.
After receiving his Air Navigator Wings, Colonel Gagnon began his operational career with 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron as a Tactical Coordinator on the CH-124 helicopter. During his time on the CH-124 he deployed to the Persian Gulf on HMCS Regina for Op PREVENTION, to East Timor on HMCS Protecteur for Op TOUCAN, and as Helicopter Detachment Commander on HMCS Regina.
After trading his Air Navigator Wings for a set of Pilot Wings, Colonel Gagnon began his second career with the Long Range Patrol community with a posting to 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron where he was part of the Fincastle competition crew, commanded a crew for Op PODIUM during the 2010 Olympics, and another crew for Op ATHENA flying over Afghanistan. He was then assigned to the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit where he was the Projects Flight Commander and the Deputy Commanding Officer during the test and evaluation of the upgrades to the CP-140 Aurora. Colonel Gagnon capped his operational contribution to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) by commanding the “Demons” of 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron.
His staff experience includes a tour at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in the A3 Maritime Readiness section, in the National Defence Headquarters as the Executive Assistant to the RCAF Deputy Commander, as section head in the Directorate of Air Requirements, as Director of Air and Space Programmes, and as Director of Flight Safety.
Colonel Gagnon holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University in Victoria. He is also graduate of the Aerospace Systems Course from the School of Aerospace Studies.
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