WADS awarded 2nd Canadian Air Division Commander's Commendation

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kimberly D. Burke, Western Air Defense Sector Public Affairs

During the Western Air Defense Sector Canadian Detachment’s annual Mess Dinner marking the 93rd anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) April 7, the 2nd Canadian Air Division/Air Force Doctrine and Training Division commander recognized WADS with the 2nd CAD Commander’s Unit Commendation citation.

Canadian Brig. Gen. David Cochrane, 2nd CAD commander and guest speaker, wanted to formally recognize the strong, long standing bi-national relationship within WADS.

“As an integral part of NORAD, the Western Air Defense Sector plays a critical role to national sovereignty of guarding America’s skies, but also providing support to Canada,” Cochrane said.  “The interactions of WADS with our own Canadian Air Defense Sector in North Bay (Ontario) has been invaluable.”

Cochrane explained that recent restructuring of the RCAF has placed more demand for aerospace controllers but in turn has created training issues.  

“WADS has been stepping up consistently by providing critical live and Distributed Mission Operations -- virtual battlespace linking a wide array of high fidelity flight and mission crew simulators -- in order for new Canadian aerospace controllers to be qualified,” said Canadian Lt. Col. Matt Wappler, WADS Canadian Detachment commander, as part of the training solution.

The 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron in North Bay, typically sends their weapon’s director students and instructors to WADS for three weeks, a couple of times a year, to conduct the live phase of training and often the initial aerospace controller evaluations.  Over the last three years, WADS has enabled 39 Canadian aerospace controller students to receive their qualification.

Wappler expressed that this award was a culmination of the efforts of the 225th Air Defense Group, 225th Air Defense Squadron, and 225th Support Squadron that make up WADS because “each contributed in different ways to the support of the Combined Force training.”