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CWO Kevin West appointed as RCAFs most senior NCM (aka RCAF CWO)

Eye In The Sky

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CWO Kevin West appointed as RCAF’s most senior non-commissioned member

Nov. 15, 2012

By Joanna Calder

“Where have 35 years gone?”

Chief Warrant Officer Miles Barham posed that question on November 9, 2013, as he prepared to hand over his appointment as Chief Warrant Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force to Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West. CWO Barham held the position of the most senior non-commissioned member of the RCAF for two and a half years.

The change of appointment ceremony took place in Ottawa; among the guests were Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Cléroux, Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer, numerous chief warrant officers from across the Canadian Forces and many senior officers, including Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army, Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, and Lieutenant-General André Deschamps, former Commander of the RCAF.

The RCAF chief warrant officer is an integral member of the RCAF command team, leads the Air Force non-commissioned members (NCMs) and advises the commander of the RCAF on matters affecting all NCMs who wear air force blue.

In his farewell remarks, CWO Barham praised the accomplishments of the RCAF chief warrant officers’ team. “We’ve done some tremendous things, especially in the ten years since 9/11,” he said. He emphasized the importance of taking care of people. “We’re all about people and that’s the biggest thing we should be concerned about.”

Over the past two and a half years, he noted, “we worked on effects” and raising the level of operational training for non-commissioned members.

In the future, he said, mentorship will be a key to success. And he also pledged that there would be a stronger emphasis on traditions and heritage among RCAF NCMs. “We need an understanding of where we came from and where we’re going.”

As one of his last official acts, CWO Barham presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to four RCAF NCMs: Master Warrant Officer Annie Donaldson-Dilello, the RCAF CWO’s executive assistant; MWO Bryan Keith Pierce, a search and rescue technician currently employed at the United States Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Montgomery, Alabama (MWO Pierce is one of only 20 recipients of the Cross of Valour, which is Canada’s second highest decoration for bravery and surpassed only by the Victoria Cross); CWO (retired) Roger Bouchard, who led the initiative put in place a succession planning process for RCAF NCMs; and CWO West.

“CWO Barham is the product of 35 years of good recruiting, good training and good mentorship,” said Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Commander of the RCAF during the ceremony.

“You impress us all,” he told CWO Barham. “You put your heart out there and that’s the way you’ve been throughout your career. On behalf of all of us, and the men and women who you’ve represented over the past two and a half years – thank you for your service.”

Turning to CWO West, he said, “I’m really counting on you to push the Air Force to where it has to go. We’re going to be busy.”

“We will have challenges, and we’ll overcome them by being a family and working together,” said CWO West after co-signing the documents appointing him as RCAF CWO.

“I vow to support all of our personnel and their families [and] to accomplish the missions with the excellence we’re renowned for.

“Equipment doesn’t accomplish missions,” he reminded the guests. “People do. I want to move the yardsticks on helping our great people.”

CWO West also noted that CWO Barham had been RCAF CWO when the historical designation ‘Royal Canadian Air Force’ was restored. “This is a historical event. [CWO Barham] is ending his tenure as the last Air Command Chief Warrant Officer and the first Chief Warrant Officer of the modern RCAF.”

Finally, he noted, “It is a true honour and privilege to have been appointed as your RCAF Chief Warrant Officer.”

CWO Barham has retired from the Regular Force, and has transferred to the Reserve Force. He and his wife continue to reside in eastern Ontario.
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Link to the RCAF CWO Facebook page
 

Gramps

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A very good choice, I have spoken to him on a number of ocassions thoughout the last four or five years and he is (In my opinion) the epitome of a leader and mentor.
 

CombatDoc

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Eye In The Sky said:
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As one of his last official acts, CWO Barham presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to four RCAF NCMs: Master Warrant Officer Annie Donaldson-Dilello, the RCAF CWO’s executive assistant...
If this is true, he must be the only CWO in the CF with an MWO as his/her EA.
 

Towards_the_gap

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CombatDoc said:
If this is true, he must be the only CWO in the CF with an MWO as his/her EA.

Good use of funds....

However am I the only one to notice that this reporter must be on the cusp of a momentous scientific announcement, considering this event won't take place for another year!
 

Blackadder1916

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Eye In The Sky said:
Article Link

CWO Kevin West appointed as RCAF’s most senior non-commissioned member

Nov. 15, 2012

By Joanna Calder

“Where have 35 years gone?”

Chief Warrant Officer Miles Barham posed that question on November 9, 2013, as he prepared to hand over his appointment as Chief Warrant Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force to Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West. CWO Barham held the position of the most senior non-commissioned member of the RCAF for two and a half years.
. . . . . .

Is an ability to see into the future now one of the RCAF's force multipliers?

It is heartening to see such attention to detail.
 

dimsum

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Slightly off-topic, but I had no idea the MWO Bryan Pierce was awarded the CV (and after some Wiki'ing, MMM, MSC as well).  I deployed with him back in 2010 and he's an awesome guy, but after reading the synopsis of the act for the CV, wow.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Dimsum said:
Slightly off-topic, but I had no idea the MWO Bryan Pierce was awarded the CV (and after some Wiki'ing, MMM, MSC as well).  I deployed with him back in 2010 and he's an awesome guy, but after reading the synopsis of the act for the CV, wow.

Found here.

Decorations for Bravery
Master Corporal Bryan Keith Pierce, C.V., M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cross of Valour
Date of Instrument: February 11, 1998
Date of Presentation: September 18, 1998

Master Corporal Keith Paul Mitchell, C.V., C.D.
Master Corporal Bryan Keith Pierce, C.V., C.D.

Cross of Valour

On November 12, 1996, Search and Rescue Technicians Mitchell and Pierce carried out an unprecedented night parachute jump into freezing Arctic waters to provide medical aid to a critically ill fisherman onboard a Danish trawler near Resolution Island, Northwest Territories. Tasked initially as back-up to another air rescue team, the Hercules aircraft with Mcpls. Mitchell and Pierce on board arrived first on the scene only to learn that the stricken seaman had taken a turn for the worse. There was no time to waste so they elected to attempt a risky parachute descent. With inadequate flare illumination and the promised Zodiac boat not yet launched from the Danish trawler, they jumped in extremely strong winds that carried them away from the vessel. As they entered the three-metre waves, MCpl. Mitchell became entangled in the shroud lines under his partially collapsed chute canopy, while MCpl. Pierce's chute remained inflated and dragged him face down through the water farther away from the ship. Although equipped with dinghies, they could not paddle nor swim to the trawler because of heavy seas and severe icing. Struggling to stay afloat, they battled the onset of hypothermia for 15 minutes before the crew of an ice-encrusted Zodiac picked them up and delivered them to the ship where they carried out medical procedures that saved the patient's life.

 
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