People power the wing

News Article / August 3, 2017

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Command exchange acknowledges role of team efforts

By Sara Keddy

Colonel Pat Thauberger took an extra turn around the parade square in the heritage Jeep as Colonel Mike Adamson, at the head of the 14 Wing Greenwood change of command parade, made a “wrap it up” motion with his arm. Both men were all smiles.

Thauberger and Adamson led wing personnel through the formal ceremony, in hot conditions and with full stands of military and community dignitaries and guests, family members and friends. Colonel Thauberger said reviewing officer Major-General Christian Drouin, commander 1 Canadian Air Division, gave express “orders” the night before to keep remarks as short as possible, a courtesy to 200-plus personnel standing on parade.

Thauberger thanked his family, command team peers and mentors, the wing’s cadre of honorary colonels, the personnel support offered by various agencies, and his wing chief, Chief Warrant Officer Luc Emond, particularly, for all their contributions to his command over the past two years. But to wing personnel at large, he offered a few parting words that left him emotional.

“I read you aren’t judged by what you do, but how you make people feel,” he said. “I wanted you to feel proud: pride in this wing. We wanted you vested in your work, every day, and empowered in the outcome.

“The authority for command comes from documents, pennants and ceremony. The moral authority comes from the support of the men and women that make up this wing. I am tremendously honoured and humbled you have allowed me to be your commander.”

Colonel Thauberger said highlights over the past two years included non-stop readiness for search and rescue and operations, showcased through continuing contributions to Operation Impact – both of which happen at an already diverse and busy wing. He credited his command team for carrying responsibility for their own branches, and said the most recent restructure of support and operational wing functions means the “lifeblood” of the wing’s work will continue.

Major-General Drouin acknowledged the contributions of 14 Wing Greenwood within the Royal Canadian Air Force. “1 Canadian Air Division is stronger because of you,” he said. “We are here today to say thank you, to say farewell to Colonel Thauberger, and welcome Colonel Adamson.”

The General took a moment to acknowledge search and rescue crews who contributed to the successful effort to help five sailboats struggling on a trans-Atlantic race in June; the deployed and home support personnel keeping Operation Impact running; and families of all military members. “Everything comes as a result of support from our loved ones,” he said. “We know it isn’t always easy, and we are extremely grateful for all you give in our support, to serve Canadians.”

Colonel Adamson expressed both his and his family’s pleasure at returning to Greenwood after their most recent posting here ended in 2015. “I’ve watched the wing for 22 years,” he said. “Our family has been fortunate to call 14 Wing and the Valley home – I never thought I’d be in command. Through all those years, I’ve witnessed the camaraderie and cooperation that’s here.

“Our RCAF leadership has high expectations of this wing, and we can deliver. I am impressed by the professionalism and pride you take in your work, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you.”

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