25 March 2020: Message from the Wing Commander, COVID-19

25 March 2020

Portrait - Col Moar

Photo: LS Erica Seymour, 4 Wing Imaging

Good day to our 4 Wing members and families,

As you can imagine one of my biggest challenges right now is keeping up with the many sources of information, discerning fact from fiction, and ensuring that the news I deliver to you and your supervisors is accurate. The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly. During our first week of contingency operations our focus was on immediately reducing the risk to our people by implementing telework arrangements, cancelling group training and meetings, and reinforcing the preventative measures issued by the CAF, PHAC, and AHS. As I mentioned in my previous letters to you our focus this week is on clarifying the various policies and plans that could potentially impact you and your families. The CAF and RCAF have been working very hard to develop plans that protect our people, protect our conduct of operations, and to the maximum extent possible, allow CAF business to continue as planned. As I said though, the situation continues to evolve rapidly and therefore the measures and plans implemented by the Government of Canada, Province and Alberta, and CAF continue to evolve. Combined with reporting from the media and social media, the rapidly changing situation creates a lot of uncertainty and confusion. I fully understand and empathize if you and your families are feeling frustrated and anxious.

The impact of COVID-19 on this year’s Active Posting Season (APS) is a high priority concern for the entire CAF. Although we were already aware that for the next few weeks House Hunting Trips were being delayed, we have been waiting for further direction on how we are going to conduct this year’s APS. Despite anything you may have seen in the media, 4 Wing has received no additional, official direction on changes to APS 2020 due to COVID-19. That said, I think it is logical and reasonable to anticipate changes to our APS, but it is too soon to say exactly what that means for Cold Lake. I realize that this uncertainty impacts your decision to sell or buy a house, schooling for your children, spousal employment, and other stressful aspects of your life. I am asking everyone to be patient for a few days to allow the CAF time to officially issue a plan and allow me time to challenge anything that needs to be changed for our circumstances at 4 Wing. I promise you that I will deliver clear direction on how we’re going to proceed and then support you as we navigate your individual challenges.
I have received many excellent questions for tomorrow’s virtual town hall and will try to address them all. I suspect we will run out of time so you can expect to receive a summary of the Q&A to include questions we don’t get to during our hour-long session tomorrow. As of today, the top topics of concern that we have received are daycare services, loss of spousal employment, and APS 2020 changes.

I look forward to updating you again soon. Keep up the social distancing and hand washing!

Colonel Dave Moar
Commander, 4 Wing