Caption: pictured (L-R) NCdt Matthew Buxton, OCdt Daniela Moyano, Mr. Bill Coyle, OCdt Megan St-Aubin, and OCdt Evan Heath.
RMC at the Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball
By: OCdt Evan Heath
The Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball took place this last weekend, and NCdt Matthew Buxton, OCdt Megan St-Aubin, OCdt Daniela Moyano, and I had the pleasure of attending. On behalf of all those there, I would like to thank Mr. Bill Coyle for sponsoring that magnificent experience.
As described by 32 CBG Commander Col Julian Chapman in his speech that evening, the Toronto Garrison has an extensive history. Many of the militia units there were founded long before confederation and have rich military traditions. The wide variety in styles and colours of No. 2 mess dress uniforms seen at the ball reflect this.
While predominately an army engagement, there were a large number of air operations branch personnel present representing 16 Wing Borden. Mr. Coyle is a former honorary colonel of the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace, Technology, and Engineering (CFSATE) and each year takes it upon himself to ensure that there’s a sizable crowd in blue at the ball; and I’m not talking about army officers in patrol dress.
I had the pleasure of being seated at a table with Gen (ret’d) Ray Henault, BGen David Millar (photo left), and Mr. Coyle. As an aerospace engineering officer (AERE), primarily on the CF-18 aircraft, a graduate of the College, and presently the Director of Operations – Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat – Privy Council Office, BGen Millar and I had quite a bit to discuss. Of particular note was his description of arriving at his first squadron right at a time when the ‘New Fighter Aircraft’ program was rolling the CF-18 out into service. I am certainly eager looking at the roadmap for the future of the fighter force knowing the capabilities offered by the recently announced F-35 Lighting acquisition, our time’s ‘New, New Fighter Aircraft’.
And of course, the evening wouldn’t have been complete without some of the AERE war stories BGen Millar was able to offer myself and OCdt Megan St-Aubin. I take great personal interest in this as, regrettably, you can count on one hand (even if you’re missing several fingers!) how many times we’ve deployed the fighter force into a theatre of war. The tales of the high readiness operations at CFB Baden-Soellingen during the Cold War and his deployment to Doha, Qatar during the Gulf War are all very interesting to those of use whose only military experience outside of RMC has been Cold Lake in the summer.