(Left to right) Lieutenant Colonel S.L. Smith, outgoing Commanding Officer Shared Services Unit (Central); CWO J.S.R. Lapointe, Regimental Sergeant Major 7 Communication Group; Colonel W.A. Wood, Commander 7 Communication Group; Lieutenant Colonel E.A.S. Gillingham, Commanding Officer 77 Line Regiment; CWO B.R. MacKnight, Regimental Sergeant Major 77 Line Regiment; and Major N.G. George, incoming Commanding Officer 4 Line Squadron. (Submitted photo)
4 Line Squadron - Change of Command, June 22, 2016
Submitted by 4 Line Squadron
Posted on Thursday, July14, 2016
It was a bitter-sweet farewell on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 when Lieutenant-Colonel Sandy Smith passed the “mantle of duties and responsibilities” associated with 4 Line Squadron, formerly Shared Services Unit (Central), to Major Neil George.
The Change of Command Ceremony, held at Normandy Officers Mess at Garrison Petawawa, was attended by many 4 Line Squadron Detachment members from across Ontario. Included in attendance were representatives from Detachments in North Bay, Kingston, Ottawa, Borden and Trenton, as well as family, Mrs. Angela Smith and Mrs. Amanda George, friends and dignitaries, Colonel Wood - Commander of 7 Communications Group, Lieutenant-Colonel Gillingham – Commanding Officer of 77 Line Regiment and Mr. Matt Poostchi - Shared Services Canada Ontario Service Delivery Executive. All reflected on the ever-changing road of challenges faced and obstacles overcome under LCol Smith’s command the last two years, which lead to the many successful milestones and achievements of the Squadron and its soldiers. They looked to the future of 4 Line Squadron, currently in transition, with trust and high regard for Maj George as he assumed official leadership.
On 15 November 2011, Shared Services Canada (SSC) had officially stood up and assumed responsibility for the delivery of E-Mail, Data Centres and Networks IT services to 43 federal organizations, including DND. In addition to transferring a number of DND civilian employees to SSC, the department also identified military personnel across DND/CAF organizations who were involved in the delivery of the transferred IT services. Since military personnel fall under the authority of the National Defence Act (NDA), they cannot be transferred to another department and must remain under the command of CAF personnel up to the Chief of Defence Staff. The creation of Shared Services Group (CFSSG) was therefore initiated to address this complexity in order to ensure the identified military members remain under the command and administration of the CAF while ensuring skill set retention for force generation purposes and remaining responsible to SSC for the delivery of the transferred IT services back to DND/CAF organizations.
As a result of the Program Management Board’s decision to centralize the Line Systems Technicians under one unit, on 31 May 2016 the Ministerial Organization Order established 77 Line Regiment as a unit in the CAF, under command of 7 Communications Group. Within the regiment, regional line squadrons were also established based on the previous Shared Services Units, located in Halifax, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Petawawa and Edmonton.
With the loss of a single authoritative voice providing standardized direction, line infrastructure resources have ended up divided amongst multiple organizations and chains of command. Under 77 Line Regiment, a coherent line strategy for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces will be developed over the next two years and executed in coordination with all stakeholders in order to provide effective and efficient use of line infrastructure resources. As a consequence, all non-line personnel will be transitioned out over the coming years.
4 Line Sqn, as part of 77 Line Regiment, will be responsible for implementing this strategy within the Ontario region while coordinating line infrastructure maintenance and requirements, working on strategic antennas and cable plants.