Change of Command for Joint Task Force (North)

News Release / June 20, 2013

YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – A Change of Command Ceremony held at Joint Task Force (North) this morning marked the relinquishment of command from Brigadier-General Guy Hamel to Brigadier-General Greg Loos.

A Change of Command Ceremony is a formal, symbolic passing of responsibility, authority and accountability of command from one leader to another. Brigadier-General Loos joins Joint Task Force (North) from his previous post as Director General Cyberspace.

I am both honoured and humbled to be here in Canada’s North and to have the opportunity to work with the members of Joint Task Force (North), Area Support Unit (North), the Canadian Rangers, the Junior Canadian Rangers, and 440 Transport Squadron to achieve the mission of the Canadian Armed Forces in the North,”  said Brigadier-General Loos.

As I assume my new responsibilities, with the support of my family, I recognize both the challenge and reward of working on this mission, and especially working with partners from all levels of government to meet northern safety and security needs.  We are looking forward to getting to know the people of the North over the coming years.

The formal ceremony was presided over by Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command.  “I would like to recognize Brigadier-General Hamel for his extensive accomplishments, particularly his efforts to further working relationships between partners in key government and non-government agencies throughout the North,” said Lieutenant-General Beare.  “His commitment to develop the Team North approach in order to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces is ready to respond to any situation in Canada’s North is one that I am sure that Brigadier-General Loos will continue to foster.

It has been a privilege to command Joint Task Force (North), especially at a time when dynamic changes are highlighting the need to enhance our capability to respond to safety and security emergencies,” said Brigadier-General Hamel. “With our Territorial, Federal and Municipal government partners, Aboriginal organizations and the people of the communities throughout the North, Joint Task Force (North) has made significant strides in building solid relationships based on trust and open communication. I am honoured to hand over command of Joint Task Force (North) to Brigadier-General Loos so that he and his Command Team can continue to contribute to safety, security and defence operations in the Canadian North.

After commanding Joint Task Force (North) for the past three years, Brigadier-General Hamel will be moving Colorado Springs, Colorado to assume the role of Deputy Director Policy, Strategy, and Plans, North American Aerospace Defence (NORAD).

At this same Ceremony, Chief Warrant Officer Gerald Blais assumed the duties of Joint Task Force (North) Chief Warrant Officer from Chief Warrant Officer Gilles Laroche, who is posted to Ottawa to the Director General Canadian Armed Forces Grievance Authority.

Chief Warrant Officer Blais last served at the Director of Human Rights and Diversity in Ottawa.

As one of six regional commands reporting to Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa, Joint Task Force (North) is responsible for the conduct of all routine and contingency operations in Canada’s North.

Joint Task Force (North)’s role is to exercise Canadian sovereignty and contribute to safety, security and defence operations north of the 60th parallel, to coordinate and lead Canadian Armed Forces activities in the North, and to liaise with the territorial governments and citizens of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. 

Joint Task Force (North)’s area of responsibility includes the three territories - a vast region encompassing approximately four million square kilometres, or one-third of Canada’s land mass.

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Note to Editors: Photos will be available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtf-north/

For more information, please contact Joint Task Force (North) Public Affairs at 867-873-0700 ext 6005, email: paul.pendergast@forces.gc.ca

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