Service second-to-none in Ukraine
By Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Martin, Logistics Branch integrator public affairs advisor
The Logistics Branch is ramping up for its 50th anniversary on February 1, 2018 with the passing an official Canadian Forces Logistics Branch flag among logisticians across Canada and around the world.
Edmonton-based logisticians who served recently with Operation UNIFIER in Ukraine took part in an incredible celebration on July 28, 2017 in that country.
“The flag arrived here on July 28 on a service flight from Poland,” said Captain Christopher Williams, contracts officer, Joint Task Force – Ukraine. “Our movements officer, Capt Rachel Hilbig, was given the backpack containing the flag by the loadmasters of 429 Transport Squadron. She in turn passed it to Master Corporal Penny Warford, a traffic technician, who then gave it to me.”
The aim of the flag relay is to inspire unity among logisticians. Logisticians have unique capabilities and occupations that will assist them in taking the flag around the world to Canadian Armed Forces operations and then across Canada to bases and wings.
“Although the Logistics Branch has a limited history,” said Capt Williams, “this flag relay gives us a chance to pay homage to the corps and organizations that preceded the branch in 1968, while at the same time, it solidifies us as a branch.”
Corporal Jennifer Couturier, a human resources administrator from Edmonton-based 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, spoke about the branch history at the event.
“The Canadian Armed Forces have earned international recognition as professionals in the field of logistics,” she said. “We gathered together at Canada House for everyone to see the flag and sign the logbook.”
The flag began its journey on July 1, when a group of logisticians gathered at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa to unfurl the anniversary flag for the first time.
“The Branch thought it made ample sense to start the relay of this flag here at the National Military Cemetery to honour all Canadian military buried here, especially those who fell during conflict,” said Brigadier-General Michael Rafter, Chief of Staff, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, during a brief ceremony at the cemetery.
The flag is carried in a sturdy, weather-resistant backpack and comes with the logbook and detailed instructions, with the intention of gathering the signatures, dates and locations of as many branch members as possible — both serving and retired.
“A special feature in the bag is a GPS tracking system,” said Master Warrant Officer Paul Flowers, national committee member and the flag relay planner and coordinator. “This way we can provide Branch members with updates about the flag’s travels, hopefully with photos of loggies with the flag.”
The last person to sign the logbook in Ukraine was Capt Louis-Phillipe Roy-Cyr, a supply officer from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment based in Edmonton, who has been training Ukrainian forces.
“This relay is fantastic,” said Capt Roy-Cyr. “Honestly, we were happy to see our flag fly the entire day in front of the headquarters. It represents the work we are doing behind the scenes.”
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