15 Wing Chief Warrant Officer

Chief Warrant Officer Neil Thorne, CD

Chief Warrant Officer Neil Thorne

CWO Thorne enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 as an Infantry Reservist with the 1st Battalion Royal Newfoundland Regiment. In 1990, CWO Thorne joined the Regular Force as an Airframe Technician. CWO Thorne was posted to 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron (441 TFS) where he participated in multiple deployments to Canada’s North and the United States as part of fighter training and the protection of Canadian borders. In 1999, CWO Thorne deployed with 441 TFS in support of Op ALLIED FORCE, NATO’s military intervention in Kosovo.

In June 2002, CWO Thorne occupationally transferred to Flight Engineer (Flt Engr) and was assigned to 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton, AB, on the CH-146 Griffon helicopter. Promoted to Sergeant in 2008, CWO Thorne was posted to 442 Transport and Rescue (T&R) Squadron in Comox, BC, as the CH-149 Cormorant Flt Engr Lead and served on numerous challenging rescue missions while also volunteering as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Comox Military Family Resource Centre. During this time, CWO Thorne completed the Officer Professional Military Education Program (OPME) and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Manitoba.

In 2012, CWO Thorne was promoted to Warrant Officer and completed the Yearlong French Language Training. In 2013, CWO Thorne was posted to 440 Transport Squadron in Yellowknife, NWT, as the Flt Engr Leader and in 2014 served as detachment WO during OP NANOOK Iqaluit, NU. CWO Thorne also served as the PMC for the All Ranks Mess at Joint Task Force North and advocated for ensuring it hosted family friendly mess events. In 2016, CWO Thorne was promoted to Master Warrant Officer and posted to 1 Canadian Air Division (1 CAD) Fleet Readiness Tactical Aviation as a Staff Officer. CWO Thorne assisted and advised on issues specific to both the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters.

In 2018, CWO Thorne was posted back to 442 T&R Sqn as the Flt Engr Leader and was responsible for overseeing training for all Flt Engrs on both the CC-115 Buffalo and CH149 Cormorant. In May 2019, CWO Thorne was appointed as the Senior Occupational Advisor (SOA) for the Flt Engr occupation during its 75th Anniversary year. CWO Thorne was promoted to his current rank in June 2019 and posted to 1 CAD Fleet Readiness in the role of Flt Engr SOA and Fleet Readiness Directorate CWO. CWO Thorne successfully managed and led the Flt Engr occupational readiness, evolving the occupation towards new fleet transitions while maintaining current and legacy fleets.

CWO Thorne is honoured to assume his current appointment as the 15 Wing Chief Warrant Officer in May 2021. He owes his successes to the love and support of his family, great mentors, and regular physical fitness.