FROM THE BRANCH ADVISOR
1. The year draws to a close … It has been a year of considerable accomplishment for our military engineer family. At a time when there is some anxiety in respect of what the future holds for the Canadian Forces and its engineers, there is much confidence we can take from the successes of our recent past. Examples of the continuing excellence with which we support our operational commanders ranged from our engineer preparedness to address the millennium bug at the beginning of the year to our engineer work ongoing in Ethiopia at the end of the year. Of course, there are too many additional examples in between, to adequately cover in this short article. Whatever the task; whatever your involvement, you can rest assured that your contribution as an individual or your success as a unit has been appreciated. Thank you.
2. It is especially timely, to consider that part of our engineer family who cannot spend the festive season at home with their families this year. In some cases, this may be an all-too-frequent misfortune; in other cases, it may be a first absence. Nonetheless, our thoughts are with you. More particularly, our thoughts are also with your families who will feel your absence that much more sharply during the holidays. We can only trust that the home units, centres, etc., have the support of the families as the high priority that it must be.
3. As a Branch, we have had an excellent year. We can only cast our minds upon such an overview conclusion and hope that we will be as blessed during the coming year. Given your continuing commitment, this hope becomes an expectation.
4. On behalf of the Canadian Military Engineer Family, the Colonel Commandant (Brigadier-General Silva), the Senior Serving Engineer (Major-General Penney), the Branch Chief Warrant Officer (Chief Warrant Officer Lepage), the Association President (Mr Keple) and I join together to wish you a relaxing holiday period, a Merry Christmas and a satisfying, prosperous New Year. Chimo
JK Simpson, Colonel Branch Advisor
5. The Canadian Military Engineer Family offers congratulations to the following members who have passed significant milestones in their lives since the last newsletter:
a. Retirements from the Regular Force and civilian workforce:
i. Warrant Officer RH Getchell - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
i. Major MRA Egglefield - Quartier Général du Secteur du Québec de la force terrestre;
ii. Major DW Gowdy - Director Land Command Systems Program Management Ottawa;
iii. Major AR Jayne - 1 Combat Engineer Regiment Edmonton;
iv. Major BR Mumford - 2 Combat Engineer Regiment Petawawa;
v. Captain JJSE Fortin - 5e Régiment du Génie de combat Valcartier;
vi. Lieutenant TP Tran - 1 Combat Engineer Regiment Edmonton;
vii. Chief Warrant Officer LR Hodgins - 4 Wing Cold Lake;
viii. Warrant Officer EJ Brennan - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
ix. Warrant Officer A Doucet - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
x. Warrant Officer NJ Manoukarakis - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
xi. Warrant Officer SC Wright - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
xii. Sergeant JFH Dupuis - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
xiii. Sergeant DC Heath - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
xiv. Sergeant JA Wilt - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
xv. Master Corporal JA Gosse - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering Military Engineer Museum of Canada;
xvi. Master Corporal PF Kyte - Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering;
i. Major KW Bailey upon award of the United States Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service to the United States as Chief, Contingency Training, Readiness Division, Civil Engineer Support Agency, Tyndall Air Force Base from 15 July 1998 to 26 June 2000. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Major Bailey reflect great credit upon himself, the Canadian Air Force, and the United States Air Force; and
ii. Sergeant GT Gombert upon award of a Commander Combat Training Centre Commendation for his outstanding work as Squadron Environmental Representative at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering. The citation reads, " This commendation is awarded for your thoroughly professional diligence, superb initiative and unfaltering dedication in preserving the environment and protecting the interests of the Combat Training Centre; and
d. Key Appointments:
i. Lieutenant-Colonel JG Wall as Commanding Officer, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment.
6. It is with regret that the death of Major Harold Norman (Andy) Andrews, DFM and Bar is announced. Andy passed away 2 September 2000.
7. Andy was originally a member of the Royal Engineers but, finding service in England 'unexciting' after evacuation from Dunkirk, he joined the Glider Pilot Regiment in 1942. He was believed to be one of only four glider pilots who survived all four main glider operations in Europe during the Second World War.
8. Andy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his courage and precision flying in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. His second major operation was on D-Day with the 6th Airborne Division. For his third major operation in Arnhem he received a bar to his DFM for his skilled and courageous flying into the landing zone. His last major operation was supporting the capture of bridges over the River Ijssel near Hamminkeln where his glider disentegrated on landing but none of the troops were seriously hurt.
9. Andy emigrated to Canada in 1953 and joined the Royal Canadian Engineers where he served in appointments in Chilliwack and Vancouver.
10. It is with regret that the recent death of Captain Arthur B. Garrison, RCE is announced. Arthur passed away in Victoria on 1 November 2000, in his 88 the year. Born on the Prairies, Arthur moved to Vancouver and graduated from Britannia High School and later Vancouver Normal School with a Teacher's Certificate. He served with the RCE during the Second World War in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, being demobilized in 1946.
11. Arthur worked for B.C. Electric in Vancouver for 10 years and then moved to Victoria with B.C. Public Works and later Highways in the Bridge Branch until his retirement in 1977. He was active in the Military Engineers' Association of Canada, Legion, United Church, Scout and Guide Movements and School Parent Teachers Associations.
12. It is with regret that the passing of Clifford Erickson, late of New Westminster, is announced. Clifford passed away peacefully on 14 November at the age of 69.
13. It is with great regret that the death of Lieutenant-General Henry Lloyd (Jerry) Meuser, OBE, CD is announced. Lieutenant-General Meuser passed away 24November 2000. Lieutenant Meuser was appointed to the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers Permanent Active Militia in 1934; in November 1936 he was posted to the Geographical Section of the General Staff and was employed on a survey of the Queen Charlotte Islands. He saw active service overseas during the Second World War, initially commanding 1st Field Company and 1st Field Survey Company. Upon promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 1941 he was appointed Deputy Director Survey and Commanded the 1st Canadian Army Survey Directorate. In 1945, as Colonel, he was appointed Commander, 1 Canadian Army Engineer Group and Acting/Chief Engineer of the 1st Canadian Army.
14. Upon re-organization of the Canadian Army late in the War, Colonel Meuser was appointed as the first "Chief Engineer" at Army Headquarters. This position was initially designated Director Engineers and Colonel Meuser held this appointment from 1944 to 1948. In 1949 Colonel Meuser was Canadian Chairman of the Join Sub-committee on Air Photography, Hydrographic Survey and Mapping and Charting, to the Canadian/US Joint Planning Committee and 1950 saw him as Chief of Staff Eastern Command. Brigadier Meuser commanded the Northwest Highway System 1955-1957.
15. From 1958 through 1962, Brigadier Meuser was Deputy Quartermaster-General for Works and Quartering. It was during this period that he selected Colonel Churchill to be his Deputy Director Works (Special Projects) - with the primary responsibility for design and construction of the "Diefenbunker". In June 1963 Major-General Meuser was appointed Associate Deputy Minister Construction Engineering and Properties - a position that he continued in after his retirement from the Army in 1967.
Change of CME Colonel Commandant
16. On 23 November 2000 at HMCS Carleton, Brigadier-General AC Brown relinquished his appointment as CME Colonel Commandant to Brigadier-General THM Silva. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel KW Smith, The members on parade consisted of two Squadrons from the Mapping and Charting Establishment: the Engineer Support Unit Geomatics Support Squadron and the School of Military Mapping; and a composite Engineer Squadron representative of the greater CME Family. The composite Engineer Squadron consisted of regular force members from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, Base Properties Branch in Petawawa, 5e Régiment Génie de Combat à Valcartier, and airfield engineers and fire fighters from 8 Wing Trenton; and reserve force members from 3 Field Engineer Squadron in Ottawa.
17. As his first official duty, Brigadier-General Silva had the pleasure of presenting the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM) to 53 qualifying members of the Mapping and Charting Establishment, and 4 Canadian Decorations. Appreciation is extended to the Commanding Officer, Regimental Sergeant-Major and the members of the Mapping and Charting Establishment for the excellent organization of this important Branch event.
18. The day was completed by a successful mess dinner where 198 members of the CME Family gathered to welcome Brigadier-General Silva to his appointment. At the dinner, Major-General KG Penney reflected upon Brigadier-General Brown's first class tenure as CME Colonel Commandant. Also honoured at the mess dinner upon their retirement, were the following six members:
a. Brigadier-General CK Ford;
b. Lieutenant-Colonel JLAG Dubois;
c. Lieutenant-Colonel SA Tracey;
d. Lieutenant-Colonel PC Savereux;
e. Major NJ Dorff; and
f. Captain MTF Tremblay.
19. The National Organising Committee has been reviewed and restructured into a National Steering Committee (CME 2003 NSC) to more fully account for Branch leadership and the various stakeholders' interests. The roles of the National Steering Committee are "to establish policy and set strategic direction" for, and to "champion the vision, mission and goals" of, Canadian Military Engineers 2003 (CME 2003). The Branch Advisor will continue to chair the NSC. As well as the former CME Colonels Commandant continuing on, the following stakeholders or constituencies will be represented on the CME 2003 NSC as follows:
a. the CME Branch as a whole as represented by Colonel Simpson, CME Branch Advisor;
b. the army as represented by Colonel Appleton, Director Land Force Readiness;
c. the navy as represented by Captain (N) Preece, N1 MARLANT Headquarters;
d. the air force as represented by Colonel Gosselin, A4 Airfield Engineering;
e. CME civilians within the DND as represented by B. DiBartolo, ADM IE;
f. Honourary appointments as represented by Brigadier-General Silva, CME Colonel Commandant;
g. CME cadets as represented by the Honourable W. Kelly, Governor of the Cadet League;
h. professional institutions as represented by R. Nicholls, President DCC; and
i. other CME Associations as represented by C. Keple, President of the CME Assn.
20. The following will participate in the NSC as members at large:
a. Chief Warrant Officer JVP Lepage, CME CWO;
b. Major-General (Retd) GH Spencer; CME Colonel Commandant 1978 - 1982;
c. Colonel (Retd) EA Ballantyne; CME Colonel Commandant 1988 - 1991;
d. Major-General (Retd) NS Freeman; CME Colonel Commandant 1991 - 1994;
e. Major-General (Retd) JA Stewart; CME Colonel Commandant 1994 - 1997;
f. Brigadier-General (Retd) AC Brown; CME Colonel Commandant 1997 - 2000;
g. R. Weir, Military Engineer Institute of Canada; and
h. G. Percy, Military Engineers Association of Canada.
21. SC Britton, CME 2003 Executive Director, and Brigadier-General CK Ford, CME 2003 Fund Raising Co-Chair, will act in an ex-officio capacity to the NSC.
Mark Isfeld Secondary School
As submitted by Major B. Pettis (Ret'd)
22. The Comox Valley Board of School Trustees has announced that the new secondary school, located in the current Courtenay Junior facility, will be named Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School.
23. In 1994, Master Corporal Mark Isfeld was on his third peacekeeping mission as a landmine-clearing specialist in Croatia when he was killed by a landmine at the age of 31 years. Mark's parents, Brian and Carol Isfeld, have been residents of Courtenay since 1982 and are currently active in working toward a global elimination of landmines. "We are honoured that the school will be named after our son," said Mr. Isfeld. "We hope that the spirit and ideals of youth that were so dear to Mark are present for all the students that will attend there."
24. Board Chair Karen Lawrenson stated, "It is important that we recognize the deeds and dreams of ordinary Canadians. The spirit of assistance to those in need, the promotion of peace, and the reduction of conflict embodied by Mark are wonderful ideals for a school."
25. Mark completed his schooling in Nova Scotia before traveling to Edmonton to work as a welder. In 1986, at the age of 24, he joined the Canadian Forces. He was assigned to the 1 Combat Engineer Regiment at the time of the accident.
26. During Mark's first mission to Croatia, he noticed a child's doll lying on a pile of rubble from a bombed house. Mark's idea was to provide dolls to children in the war-torn areas. His mother made the dolls, and Mark distributed them. After his accident the troops referred to them as "Izzy Dolls" and many more were made and distributed. Mrs. Isfeld has been named the Silver Cross Mother, and on Remembrance Day laid a wreath in Ottawa on behalf of all mothers.
27. "It is fitting that the Board of School Trustees chose to make this announcement so close to Remembrance Day," said Colonel Bill Newmann of CFB Comox. "Canada has been, and continues to be, actively involved in peacekeeping missions in areas torn by strife and conflict."
28. The new school will open in the fall of 2001 as a grades 8-10 school, and there will be an opening ceremony at that time. In September 2002, it will be a grades 9-11 school, and it will complete the transition to a grades 9-12 school in September 2003 at which time it will accommodate approximately 750 students.
Mapping and Charting Establishment
29. The Geospatial Information Coordination Centre (GICC) is the operations cell for the Mapping and Charting Establishment, and has continued to coordinate unit activities with the aim of providing geomatics support to the Canadian Forces (CF). MCE is currently capping off the year with United Nations support and African deployment of yet another Geomatics Support Team (GST), this time to Eritrea and Ethiopia in support of OP ECLIPSE. Mapping products have been routinely distributed in support of various Strategic Recces to the Area of Operation, while ensuring that the Task Force Eastern Africa (TFEA) has been provided with the basic map scales of issue.
30. Many conflicts throughout the world have dictated the necessity to produce a number of unique geomatics products on a quick-response basis to meet CF requirements. Lieutenant-Colonel KW Smith, Commanding Officer MCE, has implemented a, "Response Production Process", that initiates a course of action in the development of a "24 hour / 7 and 30-day" geo-product set. The 24-hour products are created by utilizing the best sources available at the onset of an operation and usually consist of briefing maps, and country studies. Similarly, the 7-day product set consists of "vector" planning maps, country or custom studies, or any other products that support the initial planning phase of an operation. These are more accurate and detailed than the 24-hour products. The 30- day products are generally mission specific tactical products and are intended for the use in theatre.
31. MCE has also undertaken a program for the revision of the Training Area Maps (TAM). This four-year program will ensure that the TAMs are produced digitally by utilizing the TAM-2 production process, developed by the Digital Production Section. The need for the revised TAMs has become significant for CF Bases since the amalgamation of training areas at those bases. After the downsizing of DND property holdings there was a requirement to update the TAMs, including changes in structure. This urgent need has forced MCE to embark on a contract program for the revision of a number of TAMs using conventional mapping processes in providing each base with usable TAM products. Similarly, the National VMap Level 1 Program is alive and well and has been contracted out to the Natural Resources Canada for completion within the next three years.
32. In keeping with unit training, members of the Mapping and Charting Establishment underwent their annual General Military Training (GMT) at Connaught Ranges, for Ex IRON GRID, during the period 23 - 28 October 2000. Considering all of MCE's deployment commitments, the turn out for this annual exercise was impressive.
Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering
33. During October 2000, Lieutenant-Colonel JRGM Verreault, the last Canadian Commanding Officer of the Canadian Contingent Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CCCMAC), presented a scroll to the CME Museum commemorating Canadian Military Engineer support to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre. The scroll lists all CF members who took part in Canada's 8 year commitment to the provision of technical specialists to help conduct mine- awareness activities, mine-clearance training, and the planning of mine-clearance operations under the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia. Only three copies of the scroll exist - one has been presented to the King and Queen of Cambodia, a second has given to the Director General CMAC, and this third and last copy was presented to the CME Museum.
Canadian Forces Base Petawawa
Based on an article submitted to the Petawawa Post by Corporal R. Dyke
34. The 2 CER Construction Troop was deployed to Training Centre Meaford to complete some Area Training Projects. The Construction Troop deployed 20 August 2000 and returned 3 November. The projects included the construction of two troop shelters, one each on Vimy and Cambrai Range, a boathouse at Vails Point, and 1.6 km of water line to provide the ammunition compound with fire hydrants. The Troop was also involved with some generator maintenance and air-conditioning and refrigeration unit installation.
35. The Construction Troop is comprised of six different trades: Refrigeration and Mechanical (RM) Technicians, Electrical Distribution (ED) Technicians, Electrical Generation System (EGS) Technicians, Plumbing and Heating (PH) Technicians, Water Fuel and Environment (WFE) Technicians and Construction Technicians. With these trades, the Construction Troop has the capability to design, build, and maintain anything and everything from an austere camp to a small village complete with all utilities.
36. The planning for the Meaford Project began in approximately March. The Construction Troop conducted reconnaissance in April and once LFCA TC Meaford gave the green light, the Troop jumped into action. There was a bit of a slow start completing concrete pours and co-ordinating heavy equipment support, but once things were in motion the sweet sounds of hammers could be heard throughout the training area and there was no stopping the Troop from completing the mission at hand. All of the projects went very well in all phases of construction. The carpenters did their thing, the electricians pulled lots of wire and the plumbers and WFEs laid an abundance of large pipe. The mechanical crew, although not as busy as they would have liked, carried on with maintenance and installations.
37. With Captain Cuming rustling up the regulators and Corporal Poulin and Master Seaman Alli taking care of Troop Stores issues, things just fell together like pieces in a puzzle. The individual site commanders were Master Corporal Billsborrow on the Boat House, Master Corporal Allaby on the range shelters, Sergeant Foster on the pipeline, and Master Corporals Blackney and MacDonald on the maintenance and installations of the generators, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. Sergeant Tracey and Master Corporal Desveaux handled the electrical aspects for all of the projects. The overall project co-ordinator changed hands as people came and went on DART exercises and courses. The project started off in the hands of Warrant Officer Valcourt and Sergeant Passant, passed to Sergeant Taric and finally to Sergeant Collings.
38. The support from TC Meaford was excellent. There was a Regimental wide effort to support these projects, as the Construction Troop had Heavy Equipment personnel operating rented and borrowed heavy equipment in support of the water line. A field section from 4 Troop also assisted with the water line by conducting some rock blasting to aid in the excavation of the trench.
Despite the hardships, obstacles and challenges created by a lack of vehicles, tools and equipment, and communications the moral remained high. This high morale and esprit de corps enhanced teamwork and enabled the Troop to collectively withstand problems and dangers, overcome Mother Nature's elements, and act resolutely to complete every job. The expertise of our personnel showed up in the final product. Although the Troop was heavily involved in maintaining our trade skills we could not neglect our obligation to maintain our military skills as well, and managed to conduct the 13km Battle Fitness Test in the midst the project.
39. All in all a successful deployment and a very good sense of accomplishment for everyone!
Branch Fund Bursary Program
40. The Branch Fund recently reinstated the Educational Bursary Program this year by awarding four (three normally) $1,000 scholarships to dependants of Branch Fund members. The Branch Fund Bursary Program was designed to "assist Branch Fund members with dependants pursuing post secondary education… Bursary recipients will be chosen on the basis of scholastic and all-around achievement, with consideration for individuals financial need." Dependants of all current Branch Fund members may apply. Branch Fund members may be either current or former serving members of the CME.
41. The scoring system awarded a maximum of: 15 points for scholastic achievement; 15 points for extracurricular activities such as community work, sports, or raising a family; 10 points for perceived financial need; 5 points for Branch Fund membership (based on duration of membership and appropriate contribution); and 5 points for "gut feel" based on the 250 word career goals statement and the application in general. The 8 person selection committee consisted of 5 officers and 2 NCMs and a retired NCM who was on the committee when last awards were made. The bursary recipients ranged from a member's spouse, two daughters and a son of a corporal, warrant officer, major and colonel.
42. The patience of all applicants is appreciated as the time to fully consider the scoring system and files was extended due to this being the first year of the program. The timelines noted in Canadian Military Engineer Branch Interim Policy #03/00 will be valid for the next year of the program.
43. The primary focus of "Chimo!" is to reflect on the personnel in the Branch. The only limitation on this aim is the information provided to the Editor (CME Adjutant - Captain Darlene Quinn). It is noted that "Chimo!" has several dedicated contributors but the input is far from consistent. Once again it is requested that all CME units/groups (Regular Force, Reserve Force, Civilian, Associations, etc.) designate an individual who can report on the personnel successes unfolding in that organization. We have a wide distribution list; it is a great opportunity to express the good news in your unit. Chimo.
JK Simpson Colonel
CME Branch Advisor