Senior leadership head north to visit Forces stationed in Alert

A group photo of civilian and military members standing in front of Alert signposts.
Defence senior leaders recently visited Defence Team members stationed in CFS Alert.

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The remote location of Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert didn’t deter senior Defence leadership from visiting the isolated military station and Defence Team members high in the Canadian Arctic.

Deputy Minister John Forster, Senior Associate Deputy Minister Jody Thomas, Chief Financial Officer, Claude Rochette, and Deputy  Commander of the RCAF, MGen Blaise Frawley recently travelled to CFS Alert aboard a CC-130J aircraft from Ottawa for a two-day trip to visit Defence Team members stationed there.

Upon their arrival, the visitors party sat down for dinner with CFS Alert’s Commanding Officer, Major Kevin Rubner, and Station Warrant Officer, Master Warrant Officer Kevin Wezenbeek, at the Igloo Gardens – ‘the world’s most northern dining room’. Dinner was followed by a trip to CFS Alert’s mess; the Arctic Club, for a townhall question and answer session; and a meet and greet at which they expressed their gratitude to station personnel’s hard work and dedication in protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic.

After sitting in on the following morning’s CFS Alert Briefing, the DM and Senior Associate DM toured the station facilities that included the airfield – the station’s lifeline to the rest of the world; the often-photographed Alert signpost; the headquarters, administration, and personnel services building; and the station’s water and power plants.

CFS Alert is the most northern, permanently inhabited location in the world, and maintains signals intelligence facilities in support of Canadian military operations. Spending two days at this remote location where the sun doesn’t set for half the year and doesn’t rise during the other, strengthened senior leadership’s appreciation of the hard work and the important contributions of the men and women of the Defence Team.

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