With the sounds of the pipes and drums of the RCAF Band hanging in the air, LCol David Robinson officially relinquished command of 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron to LCol Jason Kenny in a ceremony Aug. 9 at 19 Wing Comox.
Over 250 of one of the RCAF’s largest squadrons were joined on the tarmac by other members of 19 Wing for the parade, which featured musicians and fly-bys by CP-140 Aurora aircraft.
“Commanding the men and women of 407 Sqn has been a tremendous experience and certainly the highlight of my career,” said LCol Robinson. “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with these people. Canadians can take great pride in the dedication and professionalism that the members of 407 Squadron demonstrate each and every day.”
The new Commanding Officer, LCol Kenny, takes over at a time when Long Range Patrol squadrons are seeing some exciting changes in terms of aircraft upgrades and changing mission types. The new Block III CP-140 Auroras continue to enter into service and represent a major technological leap forward for Canada’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gathering capabilities.
“The men and women of this squadron have answered many calls in recent years, from Afghanistan to Libya, and of course, protecting Canadians by keeping watch over our shores” said newly appointed commanding officer LCol Kenny. “I look forward to meeting the Demons of 407 Squadron as we take on new missions and new roles in the defence of Canada.”
LCol Kenny entered the Canadian Forces under the Regular Officer Training Plan in 1993, first attending le College Militaire Royale de St-Jean in 1993, and graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada at Kingston in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.
Upon completion of his pilot training in 1999, he served with 415 Maritime Patrol Squadron where he had the opportunity to deploy to the Middle East for Operation Apollo in 2002. Posted to 404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron in 2005, LCol Kenny served as the Unit Flight Safety Officer.
He is a Qualified Flight Instructor on the CP-140 and has over 4000 hours of flying time, with more than 3000 hours on the CP-140 Aurora.
About 407 Squadron
407 Long Range Patrol Squadron is primarily responsible for the surveillance of Canadian coastal waters. Traditionally, this has meant watching for foreign submarines off the coasts. Today, this is only one part of their surveillance role, as the Squadron continues to protect the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad.
Flying CP-140 Auroras, the crews spend long hours over the ocean looking for illegal fishing, migrant and drug smuggling and polluters. They can also perform search and rescue missions using air-droppable survival pods. 407 crews frequently support other governmental agencies such as the www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/home-accueil_e.htm.
In recent years, they have detected and gathered evidence against over a dozen suspected driftnet vessels in support of Canada’s commitment to enforcing the United Nations moratorium on high-seas driftnet fishing. The advanced sensors and cameras on board the Aurora were also used to protect Canadians to monitor flooding and dike stability during the Manitoba floods of 2010.
407 Squadron has been active in the Middle East, supporting Operation APOLLO from 2001-2003 as well as in 2009 during Operation ATHENA. During Operation MOBILE, 407 Squadron served in an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance role above Libya, from 2010 to 2011.
About the 407 Squadron Crest
The 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron crest depicts a gold winged red trident or “demon stick.” The winged trident is symbolic of air power striking at sea. The anchor in a symbolic “V” by the trident indicates the crushing losses inflicted by 407 crews on Axis shipping during World War II. 407 Squadron received its nickname “The Demons” from the tenacity with which they struck enemy shipping targets during the War.
— 19 Wing Comox