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424 Transport and Rescue Squadron welcomes new commanding officer

Incoming Lieutenant-Colonel Dany Poitras salutes as a CC130 Hercules approches for a flypast during the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron Change of Command Parade from outgoing Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Jean Bernier on the 8 Wing/CFB Trenton flight line. - Photo by Corporal Owen W. Budge, 8 Wing Imaging  © 2014 DND-MDN Canada

Incoming Lieutenant-Colonel Dany Poitras salutes as a CC130 Hercules approches for a flypast during the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron Change of Command Parade from outgoing Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Jean Bernier on the 8 Wing/CFB Trenton flight line. – Photo by Corporal Owen W. Budge, 8 Wing Imaging © 2014 DND-MDN Canada

By Captain Christopher Daniel
8 WING/CFB TRENTON – Members of 424 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron, also known as the Tigers, welcomed Dany Poitras, as their new commanding officer (CO) during a change of command parade at CFB Trenton Thursday, June 19.

From left, incoming Lieutenant-Colonel Dany Poitras, Colonel David Lowthian, 8 Wing's Wing Commander and reviewing Officer and outgoing LCol Jean Bernier pose before signing the official transfer of command documents. - Photo by Corporal Owen W. Budge, 8 Wing Imaging © 2014 DND-MDN Canada

From left, incoming Lieutenant-Colonel Dany Poitras, Colonel David Lowthian, 8 Wing’s Wing Commander and reviewing Officer and outgoing LCol Jean Bernier pose before signing the official transfer of command documents. – Photo by Corporal Owen W. Budge, 8 Wing Imaging © 2014 DND-MDN Canada

LCol Poitras succeeds LCol Jean Bernier, who had been leading for the past two years the search and rescue (SAR) squadron that operates CH-146 Griffon SAR helicopters and CC-130H Hercules aircraft.

“I am pleased to welcome LCol Poitras to the 8 Wing command team as the CO of 424 Squadron,” said 8 Wing Commander Colonel David Lowthian. “I’m confident that he will continue the great job that LCol Bernier has done for the SAR community.”

424 Squadron is based at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, and together with 435 Squadron out of 17 Wing Winnipeg, they are responsible for 10,000,000 square kilometres of the Trenton Search and Rescue Region comprising most of Quebec, all of Ontario, the prairie provinces and the entire Arctic.

“The Tigers have always been ready to respond to SAR calls and their selfless dedication and teamwork make 424 Squadron a leader in saving lives,” said LCol Bernier. “My past two years as the leader of the Tigers have been both a true honour and privilege.  My family and I will truly miss everyone at 424 Squadron.”

As he officially took command of the squadron Poitras said he is “looking forward to leading a fine group of individuals doing extraordinary things for Canadians, every day.”

“It is an honour and great privilege to take command of 424 Squadron today. Many thanks to the chain of command for their trust and giving me this life-time opportunity.  I also want to acknowledge the previous command team for their tremendous work and leaving behind such a group of professional and dedicated individuals to carry out this critical mission,” said Poitras.

Poitras was born in Joliette, Quebec in 1970. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996 as direct entry officer and was awarded his pilot wings in 1999. He spent the first half of his career in tactical aviation with 1 Wing, flying the CH-146 Griffon helicopter which included postings to 427 Squadron in Petawawa and 403 Squadron in Gagetown as an instructor.

He transferred to air mobility in 2006 with a posting to 444 Squadron in Goose Bay before being posted to 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron in Greenwood on the Cormorant helicopter. His deployments include two short rotations to Bosnia and one tour in Afghanistan with 1 Wing.

LCol Poitras completed the Joint Command and Staff Programme in Toronto in 2013 and had the opportunity to work at the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre prior to taking command of 424 Squadron.

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