Friday , 5 March 2021

RCAF posting season disrupted by COVID-19, 1500 air force members set to move

Canadian Armed Forces members’ posting season is being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have effects for 4 Wing and the City of Cold Lake.

House-hunting trips, an early phase of the posting season where military members look for new homes, have been paused until April 30, confirmed Capitaine Julie Brunet, 4 Wing spokesperson.

The posting season has been extended until the end of 2020 to provide more flexibility in movement for the time being.

During a live Q&A last Thursday, Wing Commander Dave Moar said roughly 1500 air force members are set for posting this year.

“For our 4 Wing members, if you have already conducted an HHT (House-Hunting Trip) and secured accommodations at your new location, your posting is considered ‘underway’ and will continue under the modified guidance in the CANFORGEN,” said Moar in a written message on Tuesday.

“For those of you who have received a posting message, but have not conducted an HHT yet, I am asking you to pause your efforts, make no additional financial commitments, and wait for further direction.”

He said he’s requested clarification for those who have listed their homes but have not yet sold on whether they should maintain it or remove it.

All members can expect that their Commanding Officer or supervisor will be reaching out in the coming days to discuss your situation and options, said Moar.

He acknowledged this may affect the promotion plan for this active posting season.

CFB Cold Lake waiting next steps in domestic help

4 Wing is also waiting to know if and how they’ll be needed to respond domestically during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the federal government’s announcement last week.

“Although the Wing does not have specific details on how we might contribute to this effort, we have completed an assessment of our capability with consideration to our primary NORAD mission, our potential responsibilities to the community, and the deployability/role of each of our members,” said Moar.

“I would ask that each family spend some time discussing your Family Care Plan, your home situation, and identify any limitations you may have in participating in a CAF domestic operation or deployed NORAD mission.”

The Ottawa Citizen reported on March 27 that RCAF training schools were closing and they were helping military personnel return to their home bases or hometowns.

The Canadian Army cancelled their largest training exercise, Maple Resolve, that was going to be held in Wainwright, just two hours south of Bonnyville.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.