RCAF Association presents annual awards

News Article / February 13, 2017

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From the Royal Canadian Air Force Association

The Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA) has announced the recipients of its annual awards recognizing outstanding achievements in Canadian aviation.  

Ordinarily these awards are presented during the Association’s annual general meeting, which was held last year in Hamilton, Ontario, in October. The announcement was delayed, however, until January 2017 although the Association’s awards to its own membership were presented during the AGM.  

Following are the citations for the 2016 award recipients.

RCAF Association Awards

Air Marshal W.A. Bishop, VC Memorial Trophy
407 Long Range Patrol Squadron
19 Wing Comox, British Columbia

Presented for “outstanding and meritorious achievement in any field of aviation” other than air transportation or military search and rescue.

407 Long Range Patrol (LRP) Squadron is one of the largest and proudest units of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Despite a high operational tempo combined with shortages in skilled manpower, 407 Squadron has not only maintained a crew in combat operations in Iraq in Operation Impact in the fight against ISIS, but it also conducted counter-narcotics missions in Central America in Operation Caribbe, illegal fishing monitoring missions out of Japan in Operation Driftnet, and Canadian Arctic sovereignty patrols in Operation Qimmiq; all this while concurrently managing local training, and joint and combined operations at home and abroad. The dedicated and talented aircrew, ground crew and support personnel of 407 Squadron are truly deserving of the Air Marshall W.A. Bishop, VC Memorial Trophy.

Golden Hawks Trophy
406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron
12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia

Presented for “outstanding contributions or highly commendable achievements in any field of military aviation” other than air transportation or search and rescue.

406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron had an outstanding year in 2016, overcoming numerous challenges and celebrating momentous milestones. The squadron spearheaded 12 Wing’s transition from Sea King to Cyclone helicopters, developing and delivering training which produced the first Cyclone technicians and aircrew. 406 Squadron continued to produce Sea King aviators and technicians, providing “Wings for the Fleet”. The squadron executed a wholesale move from Second World War vintage buildings to their new state-of-the-art training centre. Amongst all of this the squadron still managed to celebrate their 75th anniversary with a wonderful weekend of events, which impressed countless members, past and present. These accomplishments are made all the more impressive by the fact that 406 Squadron experienced the lowest staffing levels in squadron history in 2016.

Gordon R. McGregor Memorial Trophy
Calgary Airport Authority

Presented “in recognition of outstanding and meritorious achievements in the field of air transportation”.

On July 1, 1992, The Calgary Airport Authority assumed responsibilities for the operation and expansion of the airport. Today, YYC is a world class facility committed to creating a positive, engaging experience for passengers and to setting the standard for the industry.

Air Marshal C. Roy Slemon Award
Corporal D.A. Jackson
51 Aerospace Control & Warning (Operational Training) Squadron, 22 Wing North Bay, Ontario

Presented to the “aviator of the year (Regular Force)”.

Corporal David Jackson has made outstanding accomplishments as an instructor in three crew positions within 51 Aerospace Control & Warning Squadron and unwavering support to the Air Task Force-Iraq. His embracement of “service before self” was evident in a short-notice Operation Impact deployment where he made significant contributions as a tactical data link operator to the common ground station and operations center. Corporal Jackson’s involvement on his trade’s qualification level 3 writing board exemplifies outstanding professionalism and his regard as an expert. His leadership in squadron events, operations, and community volunteering are indicative of RCAF values. Corporal Jackson’s steadfast performance reflects highly upon himself, his squadron and the RCAF.

Flight Lieutenant D.M. Grant, DFC Trophy
Warrant Officer P.W.A. Nixon
404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron, 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia

Presented to the “aviator of the year (Reserve Force)”.

Warrant Officer Patrick William Allan Nixon directly contributed to the successful implementation of the Air Occupational Enhancement program on the CP-140 fleet. Since May of 2015, Warrant Officer Nixon expertly fulfilled his role as training and education plan manager while also embracing the additional responsibilities as squadron senior aircraft maintenance superintendent, a key technical airworthiness position in the squadron providing unwavering guidance in the force generation of aircraft technicians. His work ethic and dedication are admirable as he not only carries out his roles in uniform with the utmost professionalism, but he is also a prominent role model in the community.

NORAD Trophy
19 Wing Deployed Operating Base Team
19 Wing Comox, British Columbia

Presented “in honour of those who guard what we value most – our loved ones, our liberties and our peace”.

The 19 Wing NORAD Deployed Operations Base (DOB) team consistently displayed an exceptional level of support to NORAD operations. 19 Wing has led the way amongst Canadian DOBs in the creation and establishment of Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) liaison, occupational training plans, DOB checklists, procedures and dedicated A3 Fighter/DOB liaison, and QRA custodian positions. Most recently, 19 Wing successfully hosted 4 Wing Cold Lake for an extended three-month airspace control area deployment coincident with a busy operational summer calendar. Following 19 Wing’s most recent NORAD evaluation in August 2015, the lead inspector described 19 Wing as a “model DOB in North America”. This characterization reflects the dedication and efforts of the entire 19 Wing NORAD DOB team towards this critical mission.

J.A.D. McCurdy Trophy

Presented “in recognition of outstanding and praiseworthy achievements by Canadians in the field of civil aviation”.

Not awarded in 2016

Andy Mynarski, VC Memorial Trophy

Presented for “notable contributions to aviation search and rescue” either military or civilian.

Not awarded in 2016

RCAF Association members’ awards

The RCAF Association
The RCAF Association “is a national aerospace and community service organization established to commemorate the noble achievements of the men and women who have served as members of Canada’s air forces since its inception, advocate for a proficient and well-equipped air force and support the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program.

Honours and awards promote member retention. When the organization demonstrates the ability to acknowledge the important support of its members, those members tend to stay, remaining loyal to the organization. As well, the members involved in nominating and supporting them also tend to stay. Properly crafted, the honours and awards program reinforces the values and goals of our Association.

The Association is pleased to announce the following honourees and awardees:

Wing of the Year: 702 Wing in Lethbridge, Alberta

Order of Excellence: Reginald Daws (879 Wing in Chilliwack, British Columbia) and Grant Whitson (783 Wing in Calgary, Alberta)

Life Membership (Honorary): James Francis “Stocky” Edwards (888 Wing in Comox British Columbia), Alicia Chambers (418 Wing in Belleville, Ontario), Don Feduck (434 Wing in Welland, Ontario) and Sam Newman (427 Wing in London, Ontario)

Len Baldock Memorial Member of the Year: Bud Berntson (111 Wing in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Meritorious Service Award: Paul Macdonald (111 Wing in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), Lyn East (879 Wing in Chilliwack, British Columbia), Jack Shapka (888 Wing in Comox, British Columbia), Ken Lett (783 Wing in Calgary, Alberta), Murray Hope (418 Wing in Belleville, Ontario) and Ronald “Les” Ball (429 Wing in Sutton West, Ontario)

Distinguished Service Award: Syd Burrows (888 Wing in Comox, British Columbia) and Tracy Gillis (808 Wing in Nanaimo, British Columbia)

Christina Handler Award: Susan Clarke (783 Wing in Calgary, Alberta)

408-437 Wing Award for Best Annual Report: 422 Wing in North Bay, Ontario

Best Newsletters: 888 Wing (Comox, British Columbia) and 428 Wing (Peterborough, Ontario)

In addition to his distinguished service award, Syd Burrows received an extremely informal one-time-only award, “The Order of Kevin”, consisting of a light-up figure of the one-eyed Minion Kevin. The award was presented by Major-General William Seymour, chief of staff operations at Canadian Joint Operations Command, who was the guest speaker at the awards presentation.

Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Burrows lost an eye as the result of a bird strike while he was flying an F-86 Sabre in Europe in 1954. He convinced the Air Force to let him keep flying (although his Sabre days were over) and adopted the nickname “Cyclops”.  

“Syd really appreciated our formal acknowledgement and gratitude but he also really appreciated the fun we had took,” said the RCAFA executive director, Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Dean Black on the Association’s Facebook page. “Syd is a great guy, great warrior and great community supporter.”

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