Maj A (Andrew) McLachlan, CD
Maj A (Andrew) McLachlan, CD, will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces on the 13th of June 2018 with 32 years of loyal and dedicated service to the CAF and the Canadian Military Engineers (See bio attached). To celebrate his outstanding career, a DWD ceremony will be organized on the 7th June at 11h30 at Canoe, 450 Swift St, Victoria, BC. The event will start as a casual lunch between former and current peers, followed by traditional presentations. Dress is casual. For those planning to attend please RSVP to the OPI, Maj Dominic Leclerc. All congratulatory messages, anecdotes, and farewell messages please send to Maj Leclerc, Dominic.Leclerc@forces.gc.caor 250-363-2772.
Maj McLachlan, then MCpl, component transferred to the Regular Force in 1985 as part of the Youth Training and Employment Program (YTEP) after serving 5 years with 44 Fd Sqn in Trail, BC. After Basic Recruit training in Cornwallis, NS and TQ3 at CFSME Spr McLachlan arrived to start his career with 3 Troop, 1 CER, in Chilliwack just in time to prep for the winter exercise, EX NUMB CRIMPER, in the Chilcotin. The next three years were spent building sapper skills, including building the Acrow bridge across the Vedder Canal, a Sovereignty Operation in Paulatuk, NT, and culminating in RV 89 in Wainwright, AB.
Summer of 1989 had Cpl McLachlan posted to Airfield Damage Repair, EOD Tp, in Lahr, Germany only to be sent immediately back to Canada for EOD Basic and later the IEDD course in Borden. The closure of ADR Lahr in 1991 consolidated the ADR assets at CFB Baden where Cpl McLachlan was attach posted to 4 CER for the OP HARMONY deployment to Former Yugoslavia where he was promoted to MCpl. On redeployment from Croatia, MCpl McLachlan returned to Baden to lead a Section as part of the BCE closure team. One year later it was time to go back to Canada with a posting to 4 ESR in Gagetown as a Sect 2 0I/C.
The next 5 years in 4 ESR were mainly spent on deployment and courses. MCpl McLachlan was initially employed as Sect I/C for a few months before attending his 041 6A Course at CFSME and on return to the Regiment he moved to 22 Fd Sqn SHQ. The peacekeeping deployments started to pick up momentum with deployment training for OP LANCE, Rwanda actually turning into a deployment on OP PASSAGE, taking two ROWPU Dets to the highlands of Rwanda in support of humanitarian aid. After a short period of regular Regimental training cycle MCpl McLachlan attended the International EOD course Ph 1, Eglin AFB, and Ph 2, Indian Head which entailed 6 months of training. This training prepared him for taking on the lead of Mines and Explosives Sect, then moving on to the roles of 61 Resources Tp Recce and Acting Tp WO before being moved into the SQMS then Ops NCO positions of 46 SHQ. OP STABLE / CON-STABLE, deployment to Haiti, was next in line where Sgt McLachlan deployed as the 2 I/C of the EOD/IED Section in support of CCUNSMIH. Returning to Gagetown as a Sect Comd in 22 Fd Tp, Sgt McLachlan next deployed as part of OP RECOUPERATION, Quebec ice storms, in 1998 and his final OP as part of 4 ESR was the invasion of Newfoundland as part of OP MARCOT, an amphibious assault aboard the USS Shreveport.
After a year-long French course in Gagetown, Sgt McLachlan was posted to CFSME in 1999. He was employed in Mine Warfare and Demolitions, Battlefield Munitions Disposal Section as an instructor. While at the School Sgt McLachlan attended the NATO Advanced IEDD course at DEODS, Chattendan, England and, after 3 years in MWD, WO McLachlan was posted back to 1 CER as Armoured/Resources/Support Tp WO/ and A/ Tp Comd.
OP PEREGRINE, Kelowna fires, and Regimental training filled the calendar until it was time to prepare to deploy to Afghanistan as part of OP ATHENA, in Kabul, as the Support Troop WO. Returning to Canada in February 05, WO McLachlan moved to the 11 Fd Sqn Ops WO position and posting season of 2005 had him posted to 4 AES, Cold Lake, the remnant of the original ADR Lahr, as the Flt Comd.
Cold Lake was busy and technically challenging for WO McLachlan as an EOD/IEDD operator. The NATO Post Qualifying EOD course provided the training in advanced techniques and collaboration with the Air Force Armourers provided bombs and missiles to train on. EX MISSILE SAPPER reinvigorated the old ADR procedures with new techniques and this was the highlight of WO McLachlan’s EOD training. Cold Lake also presented an unexpected career turn, the commissioning to a Const Engr Officer. WO McLachlan became Capt McLachlan on 12 Nov 2007, and entered a whole new world.
Capt McLachlan was posted to CEFCOM in July 2008 as the Joint Engineer EOD/INT 2 working EOD issues for deployed operations. Arriving in Ottawa was like old home week, working with Cbt Engineers, ex-Cbt Engineers, and even a Const Engr, from “back in the day”. Only 3 months later an internal shuffle moved Capt McLachlan to J Engr Infra 2 working Small Missions Infrastructure which led to a world tour of Small Missions which had a different flavour completely. Promotion to Major in late 2011 ended the days of deployed military focus and Major McLachlan moved into the centre of Ottawa to become ADM(IE) ACOS CME 2 in the civilian oriented world of Infrastructure and Environment.
The position of ACOS CME 2 fell below LCol Gasparotto and MGen Whitecross which was a welcome buffer between military and civilian ways of achieving the aim. Maj McLachlan gained valuable insight while working on issues like Ipperwash, national divestment of infrastructure, and witnessing the stand up of RP Ops Gp HQ. OPI of the move from NDHQ to 66 Slater also gave him a working knowledge of influencing a civilian organization to meet a timeline and objective.Two years later confirmation of a much desired posting to the West Coast moved the McLachlan family to CFB Esquimalt, ex-army, now Air Force, working for the Navy…..
The summer of 2014 started with a long drive across Canada an entered into an unknown territory of Base CE. Fortunately for Maj McLachlan, the position of Operations Officer and working in a Sqn wasn’t that different, except, TOIL, Flex Days, Unions, Deployments(not the same), and Grievances but Capt Lamothe provided support and understood the ins and outs to prevent any serious misjudgements. The plus side was an office that looked into a harbour with seals, otters, sea ducks and sometimes a submarine but never two subs at the same time…. Time as the Ops O was short lived, organizational restructure moved Maj McLachlan upstairs to the position of RO, a challenging position of balancing what should be done with what can be done, within financial constraints. With the help of an experienced team, he slowly worked towards organizing and aligning efforts to move projects forward especially demolition of surplus buildings.
Maj McLachlan will be retiring effective 01 June 2018 after approximately 38 years of military service. He and his wife Connie will be remaining on Vancouver Island but exactly where is still up for debate. Kayaking, vegetable gardening, hiking in old growth forests, and rock hounding on the beach are the immediate plans while the future takes shape. He wishes to thank all the people whose support was freely given and those that challenged him to be decisive and learn new ways of doing things.