Personnel at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert welcomed their new commanding officer, Major Warren Baccardax, during a change of command ceremony in Canada’s most northerly, permanently inhabited location on the evening of January 29.
“We’re happy to welcome Major Baccardax to our ‘Frozen Chosen’ family,” said Colonel Sean Friday, commander of 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.
“His appointment will continue the strong leadership tradition that Major Hoffman has maintained for the past six months in command of our station here in the Arctic.”
The outgoing commanding officer, Maj Scott Hoffman, said he was honoured to have had the opportunity to serve in the Arctic.
"The motto I coined when I came to Alert, 'One Team-One Mission’, has certainly held true,” he said. “Whether [the people at CFS Alert are part of the] military, Nasittuq [Corporation] or Environment Canada, Team Alert has met every challenge as one and succeeded.
“The challenges have been many and difficult…just surviving in the high Arctic is a feat in itself!”
Maj Hoffman noted that over the past six months, Team Alert has fulfilled its mission, to maintain a sovereign Canadian Arctic outpost, with honour and distinction.
“As commanding officer of CFS Alert it has been my sincere pleasure to serve all the members of the Alert team and I wish the new commanding officer, Maj Warren Baccardax, all the best."
“I’m excited to serve here for the next six months and to support Canadian Armed Forces and Government of Canada missions in the Arctic,” said Maj Baccardax.
Maj Baccardax, who hails from Cape Breton, N.S., joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science from the Royal Military College and is a graduate of the aerospace systems course at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies in Winnipeg, Man. He has served in various capacities as a communications and electronics officer both in Canada and abroad.
CFS Alert is the most northerly, permanently-inhabited location in the world, located only 817 kilometres from the geographic North Pole. On April 1, 2009, the Royal Canadian Air Force took command of CFS Alert and it is now a unit of 8 Wing Trenton.
The “Frozen Chosen” team also maintains High Frequency and Direction Finding (HFDF) facilities that support search and rescue and other CF operations, and supports Environment Canada and Arctic researchers.