The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds make an airborne salute to see off Brig.-Gen Eric Kenny at CFB 4 Wing on July 21.
The new man in charge of 4 Wing was all smiles as he took over command of the base.
CFB Cold Lake held its official change of command ceremony on July 21. The new wing commander, Col. Paul “Puffy” Doyle, will be in charge of all activities involving 4 Wing for the next three years.
“A big thing for us on the wing side of the house is making sure that we continue with the excellent legacy that we have for operational capabilities at 4 Wing. We have a requirement to make sure whenever the government needs air power from Cold Lake we’re there to deliver,” said Doyle. “At the same time, I need to make sure that the incredible relationship we have with the communities throughout the Lakeland region is continued.”
Col. Paul “Puffy” Doyle.
This isn’t Doyle’s first posting to Cold Lake. He previously had been posted at 4 Wing as a student and instructor fighter pilot, as well as commanding officer of 410 squadron.
“This is my sixth time living in Cold Lake. I was here in Grade 6 when the very first CF-18s showed up in October 1982,” recalled Doyle. “We’ve been back for about a week and a half or so now. When we came over the hill into town we saw the sailboats and my daughter’s in the back seat and she’s going ‘yay’ because we know so many people around here and it’s so great to be back home. This is home for us.”
Maj.-Gen. Christian Drouin receives the 4 Wing Sword from Brig.-Gen. Eric Kenny to pass command of the base to Col. Paul Doyle.
Doyle takes the yoke over from longtime friend and fellow flier Brig.-Gen. Eric Kenny, who himself hails from Cold Lake. Kenny is now off to become deputy commander for Force Generation at 1 Canadian Air Division headquarters in Winnipeg, MB. The change comes after a busy two years in command of 4 Wing, which included a deployment to Kuwait from October 2014 to April 2015 in the fight against ISIS.
“Brig.-Gen. Kenny’s father and my father flew together. They worked together in Germany, so Brig.-Gen. Kenny and I went to school together, we played hockey together, we went on trips together,” said Doyle of his friendship with Kenny. “I’ve known him since the mid to late 80s.”
The reviewing officer of the ceremony was Maj.-Gen. Christian Drouin, who is commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, the Canadian NORAD Region and the Joint Forces Air Component.
Doyle added that he is excited to be in his new role and is looking forward to getting back in the air.
“I’ve been in a ground job for the last couple of years, I haven’t had a chance to fly. I’m a trained Hornet pilot. I started flying Hornets before I met my wife and we had our little ones.”
Four F18s fly over the change of command ceremonies on July 21.
While he may have just taken up his new post, Doyle already has a full schedule ahead of him.
“Next week I’ll be presiding over the change of command ceremony for 410 squadron. I was at the last one as the outgoing CO, but now I’m going to there as the reviewing officer.”
Doyle concluded that he is eager to get started on the job and happy to carry on the mantle of wing commander.
“We do great things in Cold Lake, we do great things for Canada. I’m really looking forward to representing what 4 Wing does for all of us.”