There is a change of command at 4 Wing air base.
After three years as Wing Commander, Colonel Paul Doyle is packing his bags for a new position in London, England and leaving behind Cold Lake, a place he’s spent many years.
Colonel Dave Moar will take over as Wing Commander on Wednesday.
“It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been three years,” said Wing Commander Col. Paul Doyle.
Doyle is leaving for the position as Royal Canadian Air Force’s air advisor with the British, and Canadian defence attache for Iceland.
Stepping away will be difficult for Col. Doyle who has returned to Cold Lake several times during his military career.
He was in Cold Lake as an officer cadet at university, and since then has had touch points in Cold Lake for every rank he’s earned in the military, from Cadet to Colonel.
Col. Doyle said the Wing Commander has been the pinnacle of his career, but will also be the last rank he can serve in Cold Lake with.
“One of the things I talked about is how integral and woven I feel the base is into the fabric of the Lakeland,” he said.
“The sense of community, hospitality, that we benefit from because we’re from all across Canada – when we come in here, people go out of their way to make this place feel like home for us.
“When we are on the road, whether it be on prolonged detachments in Canada, the United States, or when we’re on deployment overseas, we know that the community is going to take care of our family. The community supports, the education, all the facilities that are here that we’re able to benefit from, just makes living in the Lakeland an awesome experience for everybody.
“That’s going to be tough to walk away from obviously,” said Col. Doyle.
Over 300 military members and supporting personnel will witness Col. Dave Moar take over as Wing Commander on Wednesday after the change of command parade at 4 Wing air base.
The parade is presided by Brigadier-General Sean Boyle from Deputy Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg.
Col. Moar has worked in Cold Lake before.
He worked in command positions with 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron and as the Operations Support Squadron CEO at 4 Wing.
As Wing Commander, his job will be to prepare the units at the base for air operations and support the people in those positions.
“I think my big job,” said Doyle when describing the Wing Commander’s duties, “is to make sure that I enable them for that success. I give them the tools that are required. I give the Commanders here the space to operate, to maximize and optimize what they’re doing.”
Col. Doyle will lead the ceremonial march past before signing certificates that officially change over command.
“I’ll say a couple words, hopefully try to keep them straight and try to keep an even voice. And then Colonel more will take over command of the Wing. He will literally and figuratively march on the square and stand in front of his Wing.”
During his tenure, Col. Doyle saw aircraft and personnel from Cold Lake deployed in Romania, Kuwait, Mali, Iraq, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Latvia, Ukraine and “all over the place,” said Col. Doyle.
Leadership and trust are two of the major learning points for Doyle, from being Wing Commander and communicating with Honorary Colonels.
“If you provide people right from the very beginning with direction and guidance, that allows them to execute on what you want them to do,” he said.
“If they come back, and they didn’t deliver on something that you were looking for, I learned to say that it was probably me who didn’t give them the right direction and guidance at the beginning.”
He added, “People don’t want to deliver second best when we’re talking about defense of Canada, and all the mission sets that we have, they want to excel in what they’re doing.”
Doyle flies to London with his family on July 11 to get acquainted with his new position.
But before he leaves, “cheerleader”m for 4 Wing had this message:
“I think maybe I’m a little bit biased. But 4 Wing is the best wing in the RCAF.”