Royal couple visit 8 Wing Trenton

News Article / July 17, 2017

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By Lieutenant Jennifer Howell

Their stop at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, was only a few hours but Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall made the most of their time on the ground on June 30, 2017.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were welcomed on the tarmac by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Premier; Colonel Colin Keiver, 8 Wing Commander; and other local dignitaries including Donald Maracle, Chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

That’s when the whirlwind really began.

As their Royal Highnesses entered the airy interior of the newly-constructed Hangar 6 they were greeted with displays by Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. First, they viewed a CC-130J Hercules aircraft and spoke to members of 436 Transport Squadron. They then attended a demonstration of the deployable radar and air traffic control capabilities by 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron (8 ACCS).

Sergeant Jean-Sebastien Lanoue, an aerospace control operator-radar with 8 ACCS, spoke with Prince Charles at length.

“The honour was not lost on me,” said Sergeant Lanoue, originally from Casselman, Ontario. “(His Royal Highness) was down to earth and he asked some really pertinent questions about what we do.”

He says Prince Charles also reminisced about his experience in the Royal Air Force with fondness.

The convoy of more than a dozen vehicles then whisked the royal couple off to the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC). There, Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue technicians simulated the austere conditions in which they are capable of operating by demonstrating a medevac (medical evacuation) of an injured climber trapped on a mountainside. This was followed by a rappel demonstration out of a building from the CAAWC advanced mountain operators and helicopter insertion masters. Canadian Army packers-riggers and parachutists followed with a display of parachute packing and of the training they undergo before they are ready to jump “for real” from an aircraft.

Several retired Canadian Armed Forces members also had the chance to chat with Prince Charles. In addition, the Duchess of Cornwall, who is Colonel-in-Chief of  The Queen’s Own Rifles, located in Toronto, met with members of the regiment. 

The visit to 8 Wing concluded with an act of remembrance at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, located beside the wing. The memorial commemorates the Canadian Armed Forces members who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and the role that 8 Wing played in repatriating them back to Canada.

After a visit to nearby Prince Edward County, Their Royal Highnesses boarded a CC-150 Polaris aircraft, flown by 8 Wing’s 437 Transport Squadron, to travel to Ottawa for Canada Day celebrations. The aircrew transported the royal couple from the United Kingdom to Iqaluit in Nunavut to Trenton to Ottawa and then back to the United Kingdom.

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