Honorary Colonel John Cairns had the pleasure of introducing today's guest speaker, Colonel Ryan Deming, 8Wing Base Commander at CFB Trenton and described him as a great leader with a focus on the wellbeing and safety of all personnel under his command.  We are grateful and thankful for his service and John had the additional honour of presenting, virtually, Colonel Deming with an Honorary Colonel coin for his worthy achievements.  Inspired by aviation at a young age, Ryan Deming enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1993.  After a series of progressive leadership roles, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2019.  Colonel Deming earned a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1997 from RMC in Kingston and his navigator (ACSO) wings at which point he joined 429 (T) Squadron in Trenton as a tactical and strategic navigator for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Colonel Deming is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and holds a Masters of Business Administration from TUI University.  He is also a graduate of United States Air Force Air War College at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL where he earned his master of Strategic Studies.  Colonel Deming was invested as an officer of the Order of Military Merit in 2017.
Colonel Deming said it was an honour for him to speak to the Rotary Club of Belleville, albeit virtually.  He simplified the mission statement -- to support the Government of Canada in uncertainty, be prepared for whatever and whenever.  As an employer, CFB Trenton provides life support -- recreation, shelter, food, healthcare, schooling to a large percentage of staff who live and work on the Base.  They are responsible for 7 different fleets, 44 aircraft, 3,500 military members and an additional 1,500 people, military and civilian with a budget of $180 million which is significant in one base.  This represents 25% of the entire RCAF budget.  In 2019 the squadron flew 30,000 hours that includes cargo and 12,000 passengers to every area in the world.  The base contributes $350 million direct and indirect input to commerce.  In 2020 the 424 Search & Rescue squadron performed 221 S & R missions, rescuing 27 people and 1 dog.  Often the squadrons are tasked to remote air strips, gravel in very remote areas or to perform safe airlifts globally on medical missions as well as performing VIP missions and air to air fueling.  COVID added workload in the area of getting military members overseas to medical treatment.  And behind the scenes supporting the squadrons are folks keeping the runways clear of snow and ice 24/7/365, providing meals for crew and passengers, fueling aircraft.  Staff provided 150,000 meals to repatriated Canadians when they returned to Canada in addition to providing real life support to apprehensive people arriving after a long, tiring flight.  CFB Trenton repatriated fallen comrades from the horrific crash of the Stalker 22 off the coast of Greece this past April, a very solemn ceremony.  None of this is possible without outstanding personnel who were required to do more during the pandemic.There was no shutdown there.  In January 2020, Colonel Deming was asked a lot of questions from HQ.  What was CFB Trenton's capacity?  How many aircraft could they accept?  What can the base handle?  Days later, 1000 Canadians were repatriated from overseas.  Colonel Deming was responsible for putting plans in place, to coordinate healthcare, provide life support for 870 personnel who were quarantined in Cornwall, to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible.
The base continues to operate in the pandemic with three priorities -- reduce risk to missions, reduce risk to force and reduce risk to reputation.  Colonel Deming and his staff and leaders are doing all the right things to ensure they are following a level of protecting personnel, the community, friends and neighbours.  This continued pressure and magnitude affects everyone and the base supports their people and military families through compassion and being responsible stewards.  Colonel Deming shared many real life stories of men and women, families, volunteers who go above and beyond consistently to help each other, neighbours, people in their community, supporting food banks and annual fundraising events.  These people understand the need, not for their own recognition, but because it is the right thing to do.  Some suffer in silence from scars we cannot see.  These people are professional and make him very proud.  They are all proud of the maple leaf they wear on their left shoulder.  It is vitally important to communicate with everyone, find out if someone is having a difficult time, support each other, respect each other and make a difference.
Colonel Deming was thanked by Honorary Colonel Bernie Ouellet for sharing this information update and doing all he can to keep everyone under his command safe.  Colonel Deming was thanked for his service to our country.