Squadron Chief Warrant Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Chief Warrant Officer Cheryl Abernethy was born in Cookstown, Northern Ireland. With her dad being a millwright, she moved extensively as a young child: first to South Africa in 1974, and next to Canada in 1980 where she lived in mining towns in British-Columbia and the Northwest Territories. CWO Abernethy became a Canadian citizen on 4th July 1990 and enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as an Airframe Technician just a few days later.
Following completion of trade training, she was posted to 419 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Cold Lake, Alberta, as a first line CF-5 Freedom Fighter technician. Upon CF-5's retirement in 1995, she moved just across the airfield to 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron, this time working on the CF-188 Hornet. During her time with 416 Sqn, she deployed numerous times as an Aviation Technician, and even completed her first deployment as an Air Weapons System Technician to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in 1997. After 14 years working first line in Cold Lake, she was promoted to Master Corporal in 2005 and posted to 14 Air Maintenance Squadron Employment and Training (ETO) section in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
In 2009, she was promoted to Sergeant and posted back to first line as the Propeller Crew Sgt, deploying once again numerous times with the CP-140 Aurora. In 2011, she completed her second tour in Italy in support of Op MOBILE as a Crew Chief. Promoted to Warrant Officer in 2013, she was selected to stand up the ETO section at 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron (LRPS). In 2016, she was assigned once again to the flightline, but as a Crew Warrant Officer. In 2017, after attaining Limited Senior Maintenance Manager (L/SMM) functions and Senior Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent (SAMS), she was posted to 404 LRPS in the Training Management and school SAMS role.
In 2018, following her promotion to Master Warrant Officer, she was posted to Ottawa as the Air Maintenance Branch Occupation Manager within Chief of the Air Force, where she played a part in many changes to the Maintenance Branch Occupations.
In May 2022, with a promotion to her current rank, she was selected to assume the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron Chief Warrant Officer position. She feels highly privileged to be in this position and is fully committed to the well-being of the squadron and its personnel.