New Commander at the Head of Canada’s Tactical Helicopter Wing

Published on: 2020/07/29 - in News

At a ceremony in Kingston this afternoon, Colonel Chris McKenna took over command of 1 Wing from outgoing Commander Colonel Travis Morehen.

Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region Commander, presided over the ceremony, which was live streamed to the RCAF Facebook page in order to respect social distancing measures. Live stream is embedded below – begins at 4 minute mark.

“It has been wonderful to return to my roots and to the Tactical Aviation Enterprise for the last two years,” said outgoing 1 Wing Commander, Colonel Travis A. Morehen, CD. “The Sailors, Soldiers, and Aviators of 1 Wing are some of the finest the CAF has to offer and I am proud to have served as your Commander, most recently as we navigated unprecedented times and still delivered airpower effects with the unwavering expertise that we are known for. I have no doubt that Colonel McKenna will inspire you to keep striving for unparalleled professionalism and performance.”

1 Wing is the home of Canada’s Tactical Aviation capability and provides airpower effects for the Canadian Army, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Equipped with a mixed fleet of CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters (pictured above), 1 Wing consists of a formation Headquarters based in Kingston, Ontario and seven tactical helicopter squadrons distributed across Canada.

According to provided fact-sheets, the CH-146 Griffon utility tactical-transport helicopter that supports the tactical transportation of troops and materiel as well as search and rescue operations, surveillance and reconnaissance, training, casualty evacuations and counter-drug operations.

The CH-147F Chinook is an advanced, multi-mission helicopter used to transport equipment and personnel during domestic or deployed operations. The Chinook supports the Canadian Army, special operations forces, other government departments, law enforcement agencies and civil authorities. It has enhanced self-protection capabilities, including anti-missile protection systems, radar as well as laser warning systems, ballistic protection and self-defence machine guns.

Colonel Chris McKenna, Major-General Eric Kenny and Colonel Travis Morehen sign the change of command certificates. [Photo: Steven McQuaid, Canadian Forces Base Kingston Imagery]
Incoming 1 Wing Commander Colonel Chris A. McKenna, OMM, MSC, MSM, CD thanked Colonel Morehen for his leadership of 1 Wing over the past two years.

“He has brilliantly led this Wing through a period of significantly high operational tempo, not seen in a generation,” McKenna added. “I will strive to keep this positive momentum going as I take command of 1 Wing. Tactical Aviation has been my family for my entire career, and I couldn’t be more honoured to lead the Tactical Aviation warriors that are the very heart of this great RCAF Wing.”

“It was a great honour to be able to preside over the 1 Wing change of command ceremony today between Colonel Travis Morehen and Colonel Chris McKenna,” said Major-General Eric J. Kenny, MSC, MSM, CD, 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region Commander, who presided over today’s ceremony.

“This is not the first time command has changed hands between them, as both of them very capably commanded the Joint Task Force deployed for Operation PRESENCE in Mali from 2018 to 2019,” Kenny continued. “Colonel Morehen’s command of 1 Wing spanned a time of very high ops tempo and transition for the Tactical Aviation community, and I know that the Wing will continue to reap the benefits of his leadership for years to come. I want to thank him for his outstanding work as Wing Commander, and wish him all the best as he moves on to his next challenge. The men and women of 1 Wing have always risen to the challenges before them—that dedication is an example to all of us, and it starts at the top. As the new Wing Commander, Colonel McKenna has inherited this legacy of excellence, and with his track record as a proven and dedicated leader, I know 1 Wing is in good hands.”

Learn more about 1 Wing Kingston

1 Wing Kingston Change of Command Ceremony / Cérémonie de passation de commandement 1re Escadre Kingston

You’re joining us live from 1 Wing Kingston for the Change of Command Ceremony where Colonel Chris McKenna will assume command from Colonel Travis Morehen, in a ceremony presided by Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. Equipped with a mixed fleet of CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, 1 Wing is the home of Canada’s tactical aviation capability and provides air power effects for the Canadian Army, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.Nous sommes en direct à la 1re Escadre Kingston afin d’assister à la cérémonie de passation de commandement présidée par le major-général Eric Kenny, commandant de la 1re Division aérienne du Canada et de la Région canadienne du NORAD, lors de laquelle le colonel Chris McKenna prendra la relève du colonel Travis Morehen. Équipée d’une flotte d’hélicoptères CH-146 Griffon et CH-147F Chinook, la 1re Escadre est le siège de l’aviation tactique du Canada et fournit une puissance aérienne à l’Armée canadienne, au Commandement des Forces d’opérations spéciales du Canada et à l’Aviation royale canadienne.

Posted by Royal Canadian Air Force on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Photo via Flickr (cc)