51 Squadron welcomes new Honorary Colonel

Left to right: Honorary Colonel Jacques Lacourse, Major B.J. Tinsley, Honorary Colonel Tom Hedican
Left to right: Honorary Colonel Jacques Lacourse, Major B.J. Tinsley, Honorary Colonel Tom Hedican. Photo: Corporal Robert Ouellette

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By Captain Leah Pierce – The Shield

Honorary Colonel Thomas G. Hedican, 51 Aerospace Control & Warning (Operational Training) Squadron, relinquished his appointment to HCol Jacques M.C.J. Lacourse in April.

Presiding over the ceremony at 22 Wing / Canadian Forces Base (CFB) North Bay on April 11 was Major B.J. Tinsley, 51 AC&W (OT) Sqn Commanding Officer.

“Being associated in such a meaningful way with the men and women who serve our country is a great honour,” stated HCol Lacourse. “I am looking forward to continuing the excellent example set by HCol Hedican, and I am absolutely humbled to join 22 Wing as Honorary Colonel of 51 Squadron.”

An emotional Hedican thanked members of 51 AC&W (OT) Sqn and 22 Wing for their support during his tenure as honorary colonel from October 2014 to April 2018. Admitting he loved being called “Sir” and being saluted, and although now an emeritus, Hedican assured all that he would continue to provide that conduit between the wing and the community, following in the footsteps of other renowned honorary colonel emeritus’ such as Paul Cook, John Cutsey and Scott Clark.

“It is with heartfelt gratitude the members of 51 AC&W (OT) Sqn thank HCol Thomas Hedican for the years he spent as an integral member of the unit, and we extend an equally hearty welcome to HCol Lacourse,” explained Maj B.J. Tinsley.

HCol Lacourse is currently an advisor to the Board of Directors for the North Bay and Area Community Foundation, a member of the East Ferris Economic Development Committee and a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Governance Committee for the North Bay Military Family Resource Centre.

More than 225 distinguished Canadians have served the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) through the Honorary Colonel programme since 1970. Honorary Colonels act as advisors to unit commanders and become key members within the Air Force environment. There are some 60 appointments throughout the RCAF at any one time.

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