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Albeit the cold crisp air of the Arctic, the members of the Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert warmly welcomed their new leader during the Change of Command ceremony on Aug. 1st in Canada’s most northerly post.

During the parade, which was presided by the Wing Logistics and Engineering Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Dany Breton, Major (Maj) Scott Hoffman succeeded Maj Todd Murphy as the Commanding Officer (CO) of CFS Alert.

As per Alert’s tradition, Maj Murphy handed his ball cap to Maj Hoffman to signify the passing of responsibility and to officially welcome the new CO to the “Frozen Chosen” family.

“I’m delighted and privileged to be assuming Command” said Maj Hoffman.

During parade’s speeches, Maj Murphy said “It was a privilege not just to serve and lead you as your CO but equally to have been part of your Alert family.”

After earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Regina, Maj Hoffman joined the CF in 1989. From June 1997 to January 1998, he served with the Lord Strathcona Horse Battle Group in Bosnia Herzegovina. Posted to CFB North Bay in May 1999, he qualified as an air weapons director and assumed NORAD Duties with 21 Squadron. Within a year, he was deployed to Operation Northern Watch. Promoted to Major in June 2007, he was posted to USAF AWACS Tinker AFB as a Mission Crew Commander. With the 965th AACS he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he was awarded USAF Air Medal. In July 2011, he was posted to 1 Canadian Air Division/CANR HQ as A3 Force Protection Readiness before current appointment in Alert.

The day was hectic yet fulfilling for the “Frozen Chosen”.

The busy day began early in the morning when the Hercules flight landed in CFS Alert, having on board distinguished guests including are Colonel Kevin Horgan from 1 Canadian Air Division, Honorary Colonel (HCol) Haddon, and LCol Breton, who attended multiple stations briefs along with working visit around the station.

Later that day, CFS Alert members were honoured to attend a presentation about Douglas McCurdy Flight History given by his own grandson, HCol Haddon.

CFS Alert is the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world, located only 817 kilometers from the geographic North Pole. The station was first settled in the early 1950s as a weather station of the Joint Arctic Weather Station (JAWS) System. On Sept. 1, 1958, Alert began its operational role as a signals intelligence unit of the Canadian Forces. At that time, it became the Alert Wireless Station and was under the command of the Canadian Army. On April 1, 2009, the Royal Canadian Air Force took command of CFS Alert, which is now a unit of 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.


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