16 Wing rehearses for presentation of RCAF colours

News Article / August 24, 2017

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From 16 Wing Public Affairs

“Colours”, unique ceremonial flags carried by Canadian Armed Forces combatant formations and units, are a military unit’s "visible symbols of pride, honour and devotion to Sovereign and country".

Colours are personally presented by the Queen or an individual who acts on her behalf – usually the Governor General. They are consecrated objects and it is expected that military personnel salute them when they pass the Colours or the Colours pass by them, and that all others will stand to show their respect.

A new Queen’s Colour and a new Command Colour for the RCAF will be consecrated in a ceremony to be held in Toronto at Nathan Phillips Square, on September 1, 2017. These Colours are only the third stand of Colours in the RCAF’s history, and reflect the new insignia that followed the restoration of the RCAF’s historic name in 2011. This solemn ceremony honours the humble beginnings of the RCAF, celebrates a glorious service and invigorates a new generation of airmen and airwomen.

16 Wing Borden, Ontario, has been tasked to provide direct support to this historical event, providing more than 100 men and women for the presentation ceremony and parade. Canadian Forces Base Borden, where 16 Wing is a lodger unit, is also providing logistical support for this momentous occasion.

Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Campbell of the Canadian School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE) is directing a fierce parade practice schedule that started 27 June; rehearsals take place two or three mornings per week, and will continue to end August. He said that everyone on parade understands the magnitude of what they are involved in. Aviators Adesh Bharat and Roxanne Fradette both said they feel honoured and could not believe how awesome it was to be part of the colours presentation. Lieutenant Jacob Furlan said that being part of receiving the new colours represented a lot to him. “It’s been 35 years since this was done,” he noted.

The weather has been good for most of the parade rehearsals and during inclement weather, practices were held at Dyte Hall. 16 Wing’s Chief Warrant Officer Necole Belanger addressed the parade participants, who are aptly named the “Consecration Team”, and highlighted importance of what they were involved in. This is “a once in a lifetime opportunity and honour; that we, 16 Wing, were chosen from all other wings,” she stressed. “Through your hard work, you will wow them all on 1 September.

“This is a distinct and historic honour bestowed upon 16 Wing personnel to participte in the retirement of the old and presentation of the new RCAF Colours. Sic itur ad astra.”

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