Originally printed in Journal de la BFC de Bagotville, Le Vortex, September 2016, volume 11, number 9
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver was asked to provide a display booth representing Canada during the international reception at the end of Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) on August 4, 2016.
The Air Task Force (ATF), deployed by 2 Wing to support air operations, was approached to lend a hand to HMCS Vancouver. ATF Construction Engineering Services, always on the lookout for new projects, developed the idea of creating the Canadian booth.
Cpl Lee-Ann Smith, a construction engineering technician and member of the 2 Wing Air Expeditionary Squadron deployed on RIMPAC, was immediately motivated. Using Autocad, she designed the entire drawing from A to Z. Inspired by each region of Canada, she drew the entire project. On the Pacific coast, she included a bear in the middle of gigantic trees on the edge of the ocean. For the Atlantic region, she drew a moose walking on the banks of the ocean and in a forest. Central Canada was represented by a beaver walking through the Rocky Mountains. To represent the North and the Arctic, she placed an Inukshuk over the mountains. Finally, she included the logo of the Canadian Armed Forces representing the three elements (air, sea, land) as RIMPAC is a joint exercise.
She presented her drawings and everyone was thrilled. Once the initiative and drawings approved, Cpl Smith began work – she built the display in only 5 days! To simulate the stars, lights were added by Cpl St-Louis, an electrician from the same squadron and deployed with Cpl Smith.
The display was a huge success. HMCS Vancouver staff were so impressed that a request was made to the ATF for the display to travel at sea with HMCS Vancouver for six months and to be used during official receptions on the Ship. A fine example of joint participation.