Ottawa—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, is visiting Canadian Armed Forces members and civilians at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert, Canada’s most northerly military installation, on January 19 and 20, 2015.
“As governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, I am pleased to be planning a visit to Alert, the northernmost permanently-inhabited settlement in Canada and in the world,” His Excellency said. “I am particularly looking forward to expressing my support and gratitude to those stationed at Canadian Forces Station Alert during the total darkness of winter. It will be a great opportunity to learn more about the important research and work being done up there.”
Arrival at CFS Alert
Upon arrival, His Excellency will be welcomed by CFS Alert outgoing commander, Major Scott Marshall; incoming commander, Major Brian Tang; and CFS Alert Station warrant officer, Master Warrant Officer Didier Pignatel.
CFS Alert commander, Major Scott Marshall, will provide an overview of the station’s operations to His Excellency. CFS Alert maintains signals intelligence facilities to support Canadian military operations. Signals intelligence is conducted remotely, using the equipment and facilities located in Alert.
Driving Tour of Station
The Governor General will conduct a driving tour of the station, which was first settled in the early 1950s as part of the Joint Arctic Weather Station (JAWS). On September 1, 1958, Alert began its operational role as a signals intelligence unit of the Canadian Forces. At that time, it became the Alert Wireless Station and was under the command of the Canadian Army. On April 1, 2009, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took command of CFS Alert. It is now a unit of 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario.His Excellency, joined by CFS Alert personnel, will pose for a group photo in front of the Alert sign.
During the tour, the Governor General will also lay a wreath both at Boxtop 22 Memorial, where a C-130 Hercules, part of Operation Boxtop 22, crashed on October 30, 1991, and at Lancaster Memorial, where a 405 Squadron Lancaster (#965) crashed during a resupply mission on July 31, 1950.
Change of Command Dinner
His Excellency will attend a dinner to mark the transfer of command from outgoing commander, Major Scott Marshall, to incoming commander, Major Brian Tang.
Meet and Greet with CFS Alert Personnel
His Excellency will have the opportunity to speak and meet with military, civilians and contracted personnel from CFS Alert.
Walking Tour of Station
His Excellency will conduct a walking tour of the station to learn more about its use of scientific innovation, and its link with Canada and the North.
Change of Command Parade and Presentation of Special Service Medals
His Excellency will attend the Change of Command Parade, presided over by Colonel David Lowthian, Commander 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, and will deliver remarks before the signing of the scroll. He will also present Special Service Medals (SSM).
The SSM was created in 1984 to recognize members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are taking part in activities and operations under exceptional circumstances. For more information about the medal, visit www.gg.ca/honours.
Departure from CFS Alert
His Excellency will bid farewell to CFS Alert personnel.
Rideau Hall Press Office
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