Over 100 members of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron stood on parade July 10 to bid farewell to outgoing commanding officer Maj. Chris Shapka, while welcoming incoming commanding officer Maj. Brian Payan.
“I have greatly enjoyed the privilege of being the commanding officer of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron,” said Maj. Shapka, “I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a group of dedicated and highly professional squadron members. It is the support, provided in large part by 19 AMS, that enables the continued and critical operations conducted at 19 Wing. I’m very proud of all we have accomplished over the past two years.”
The majority of 19 AMS members are highly skilled technicians who specialize in aircraft structures, armament, avionics, non-destructive testing and mechanical support. The unit performs second-line maintenance for 442 and 407 Squadrons in Comox, 443 Squadron in Victoria, as well as providing explosive ordnance disposal services to 19 Wing.
“It is with considerable honour and excitement that I assume this appointment as CO of 19 AMS, working alongside its proud and successful members,” said Maj. Payan, who is returning to 19 Wing, having previously served at 407 Squadron in 1999 as the aircraft maintenance officer and quality systems manager.
Maj. Payan enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1994 as a reserve lineman. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada and graduated in 1998 as an Aerospace Engineering and Maintenance Officer.
In 2003, Maj. Payan did his post-graduate training at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, California and graduated in 2004 with a Master of Science and Flight Test Engineering. He followed this with a posting to the Aerospace and Engineering Test Establishment in Cold Lake as a Rotary Wing project officer. In 2010, Maj Payan served with the Project Management Office for the Maritime Helicopter Project.
Maj. Payan is joined in his new posting by his wife and two children.
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19 Air Maintenance Squadron (19 AMS) provides second-line aircraft maintenance support to all of the flying squadrons at CFB Comox, and specific aircraft maintenance support to 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in Victoria.
The Squadron also provides Explosive Ordnance Disposal services to 19 Wing and various areas within British Columbia and the Yukon.
The mission of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron is to deliver excellent maintenance support to meet operational requirements within 19 Wing and CFB Comox by providing quality products, services and workmanship through leadership and technical expertise.
The Commanding Officer of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron is responsible for approximately 110 personnel who work in a wide range of areas including armament, avionics, non-destructive testing, aircraft structures and mechanical support.
19 AMS has been a certified Air Force 9000 Plus organization since February 2002 and has also been an Accredited Maintenance Organization (AMO) since August 2003. 19 Air Maintenance Squadron was established in 1993.
— 19 Wing Comox