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Change of Command Ceremony for Canada’s Tactical Helicopter Wing

1 Wing Change of Command Ceremony

Colonel Mike Babin took over as the Commander of 1 Wing from outgoing Commander Brigadier-General Chris McKenna in a ceremony in Kingston, Ontario. The small ceremony, in line with COVID-19 mitigation efforts and Public Health orders took place at CFB Kingston with Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, attending virtually as reviewing officer.

Brigadier-General McKenna has commanded 1 Wing since 2020. He is posted to Royal Canadian Air Force headquarters in Ottawa where he will assume responsibilities as Director General Air and Space Force-Development.

Col Babin is coming in from Ottawa where he served as Acting Director General Plans at Canadian Joint Operations Command. He is no stranger to 1 Wing, having served in the Standards, Training and Acquisitions cell in 2012 and having also commanded 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in 2017, including a deployment to Mali as part of Operation PRESENCE.

“Members of 1 Wing are often the first to be called upon to provide support to overseas and domestic missions.   Their commitment to operational excellence, safety and teamwork impresses me every day and made my time as Wing Commander a true privilege. While the pandemic has been difficult on all of us, the way our squadrons and our people came together demonstrated the resilient spirit this Wing is known for, and for that I am extremely grateful and proud.” Brigadier-General Chris McKenna, OMM, MSC, MSM, CD, outgoing 1 Wing Commander

“I look forward to the challenges this role will bring, while also looking forward to rejoining the tremendous team at 1 Wing. Tactical helicopters are among the most agile and flexible aircraft in the RCAF and with this capability comes a high operational tempo. I know we will be ready to support the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadians in whatever mission we may be called upon to accomplish.” Colonel Mike Babin, CD incoming 1 Wing Commander

“I thank Brigadier-General McKenna for his tremendous efforts this past year and welcome Col Babin into his new and exciting role. As we see demands on tactical aviation grow, we know we need to grow our air force to match. To do this, we must be an inclusive organization; one that benefits from diversity, members’ experiences and cultures. We must also be a respectful air force, where our members have a voice that is listened to by leadership, and where people can speak their truths. This is a path to real change, and one which all leaders in 1 Canadian Air Division will be expected to engender in their squadrons, units and wings.” Major-General Eric Kenny, MSC, MSM, CD, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division, Canadian NORAD Region / Joint Force Air Component / Search and Rescue Region Trenton

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