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  • C.S. Sullivan

    April 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Duff joined the NAV Canada team in November 2009 as Chief of Operational Safety Analysis in the Office of Safety and Quality following a 31-year career in the Canadian Forces. Prior to retiring from the military, Duff served at the rank of Major-General on a 12-month tour of duty as NATO’s Air Component Commander and as Deputy Chief of Joint Operations at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Military Career

    Duff enrolled in the Canadian Forces in January 1979 and received his Pilot’s Wings in February 1981. He remained in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan for four years as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the CT114 Tutor jet aircraft where he attained his “A” Category Instructor status, taught ground school and was a course director, standards officer and maintenance test pilot.

    Following Moose Jaw, he trained on the CF5 and CF18 Hornet in Cold Lake, Alberta. On completion of his fighter pilot training he was posted to 421 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Baden-Söllingen, West Germany in June 1986 where he flew the CF18 during the Cold War. While serving on 421 Squadron he participated in NATO’s 1988 Tactical Air Meet, graduated from the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Jever, Germany and attained his Package Commander and Mass Attack Flight Lead qualification on the CF18.

    In December 1989, he was attached-posted to Sector Operations Centre Four (SOC 4) in Messtetten, Germany, where he carried out the duties of Fighter Coordinator and Executive Officer under the leadership of Major-General Erich Mende of the German Air Force. In June 1990, he was posted to 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Lahr, Germany where he served as Staff Officer Air Operations under the leadership of Brigadier-General Jean Boyle. While at the Air Division, he continued to maintain his combat-ready status on the CF18, participated in the Gulf War in the fall of 1990, and carried out the duties of Chief Evaluator on NATO’s Tactical Evaluation Team. He also represented Canada at NATO’s Tactical Leadership Programme in Florennes, Belgium and was a member of the NATO Working Group responsible for the development of Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs).

    In 1993 Duff attended the Royal Air Force Command and Staff College in Bracknell, England for one year. Following Staff College he completed a three month French language course and was then assigned to 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville, Quebec where he was once again employed as a CF18 combat-ready fighter pilot and the Flight Commander of Squadron Standards and Training.

    From October 1994 to May 1995, he served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Visoko, Bosnia, as a Forward Air Controller and the Officer Commanding the Tactical Air Control Party. On his return to Canada, he was posted to Air Staff Headquarters in Ottawa where he was responsible for force structure development and air force resource management.

    In July 1998, Duff was appointed Commanding Officer of 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake. While commanding 416 Squadron he also commanded Canada’s CF18 detachment in Aviano, Italy where he and his deployed fighter squadron flew operational sorties in support of the UN’s stabilization mission in the Balkans and NATO’s air mission over Kosovo.

    In July 2000, Duff was posted to 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba and assigned the duties of Director of Operations for the Canadian NORAD Region and Director of Operational Readiness for the Canadian Air Force.

    From July 2003 to July 2005, Duff commanded 4 Wing and Canadian Force’s Base Cold Lake where he championed the Expeditionary Fighter Wing concept, led Maple Flag coalition exercises and oversaw the introduction of the newly-modernized CF18 Hornet. Following his tour as Wing Commander, he attended a year-long French language course at the Canadian Force’s Language School in Gatineau, Quebec, where he was, upon completion, promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General.

    In July 2006, Duff was appointed Director General of Capability Development for the Canadian Forces at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. In the Fall of 2006, he also served as co-president on the US-led Combined Investigation Board convened by the Commander of Air Forces US Central Command, Lieutenant-General Gary North, to investigate an A-10 “blue-on-blue” friendly fire incident which occurred during Canada’s ill-fated OP MEDUSA near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    In July 2007, Duff was seconded to the Prime Minister of Canada’s Privy Council Office to serve as Director of Defence and International Security in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat. While at PCO, Sullivan and his staff provided policy oversight for the development of the “Canada First Defence Strategy”, Canada’s security and development mission in Afghanistan, and initiatives related to Continental security. Immediately following his PCO assignment, Duff began training for a 12-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

    From October 2008 to November 2009 Duff served at the rank of Major-General at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan as NATO’s Air Component Commander and as ISAF’s Deputy Chief of Joint Operations under the leadership of General David McKiernan and General Stanley McChrystal. In this newly-created dual-hatted position, Duff exercised command authority over NATO air bases and airfields across Afghanistan and was responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of all military and domestic air operations. These operations included Armed Overwatch and Close Air Support with fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles; air medical evacuation and Combat Search and Rescue; intra-theatre airlift; air support to the Government and military forces of Afghanistan; and, lead-advisor to Afghanistan’s Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation. As Deputy Chief of Joint Operations he was entrusted with championing air-land integration with ISAF’s five Regional Commanders and providing command oversight of Special Forces and Counter Narcotics operations, Dynamic and Time-Sensitive Targeting missions, and battle group and brigade-level land-force operations carried out by NATO ground commanders throughout ISAF’s regional commands. In September 2009, Duff was also appointed by General McChrystal to lead NATO’s formal Investigation into the air strike near the City of Kunduz, Afghanistan where scores of Afghan civilians were killed. Duff tendered his resignation from the Canadian Forces immediately following his tour of duty in Afghanistan and joined NAV Canada in November 2009.

    During his 31-year military career, Duff accumulated over 3500 flying hours flying jet aircraft, 1600 of which were flown on the CF18 Hornet during three operational fighter tours. He has flown operational missions over Europe, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Canada’s high Arctic and the North Atlantic. He served as a Forward Air Controller on the ground in the Balkans, and has commanded a Tactical Air Control Party, a CF18 fighter squadron, an air force fighter wing and main operating base, and NATO’s Air Component during combat operations in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Europe Commendation by Major General Brian Smith in July 1990 for administering life-saving first-aid to a British national citizen. In April 2004, he was awarded the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation by General Ray Henault in recognition of his leadership in the wake of 9/11 and during the G8 Summit at Kananaskis, Alberta.

    Sullivan graduated from St Lawrence College of Applied Arts and Technology as a Civil Engineering Technologist and received his Baccalaureate in Military Arts and Science from the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario. He is also a graduate of the Royal Air Force Command and Staff College in Bracknell, England; the Advanced Military Studies Course and National Security Studies Course at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto; and the Combined Force Air Component Commander (CFACC) Programme at the United States Air Force Air University in Montgomery, Alabama. Sullivan officially retired from the Canadian Forces on the 30th of May, 2010.

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