Newsletters - Volume 55
Ex COMM PLAYER, Professional Development Speakers
Written by MWO M. Brown
Organising speakers for the Professional development (PD), for the Ex Comm Player was a challenge for sure. Everybody is busy and funding is short. However, through the Branch network, many e-mails and telephone calls, I was able to put together a very interesting day of PD, full of relevant topics and engaging speakers.
This year in discussion with WO (Eric) Bearisto, I had asked that one full day of PD be allocated for the week, vice several lectures and briefings interspersed in between hockey games. Having been to several Ex Comm Players in the past, I was aware how poorly attended this sort of scheduling resulted in from the hockey players who are the prime audience. Having one day free of hockey also gave the young at heart but not so young in body the opportunity to heal with dignity before going on to the 2nd part of the week.
First up was MWO (Claude) Lavoie, an old Signaller who is presently posted to St-Jean at the CF Leadership and Recruit school. He briefed us on his time as a Sigs Sgt training the Afghan Army Signallers. A tough job gaining the trust of the ANAF Officers and NCOs, but extremely rewarding once you did. He also warned all pers going to train the ANAF to always carry a roll of toilet paper with you, unless you are never going to eat with your left hand again!!
Second up were LCol (James) Greengrass and CWO (Robert) Sheldrick from DIMSTA 3- Regional Liaison office (Central). They spoke on how IT Service Delivery is currently being done at CFB Kingston and how it should ideally be accomplished. It was an interesting briefing based on the questions asked of clients as to what the best means of providing IT support.
Unfortunately, LCol (Chris) Grandy from the Directorate of Aerospace requirements 8, (Unmanned Arial Vehicles), could not make it for his briefing on the CF UAV Acquisition/procurement. He was called away to a meeting in Ottawa. However, DLCSPM, Maj (Charles) Palmer, was able, on very short notice, to step in and give his briefing on the "Latest Fielded Equipment". His briefing was eagerly anticipated and he even showed off the latest combat boot (which he was wearing), made with brown leather bottoms and a cloth top. Maj Palmer did point out that with the boots being brown, it would be much harder for Sgts-maj to see dirty boots.
Up next was Capt (Pierre) Frenette from the 35th Canadian Brigade Group HQ, in Quebec City. He spoke on a topic we have seen much on the news in the last year involving the Arctic and Northern Communications. Capt Frenette showed us the equipment the Rangers are using and discussed in detail the challenges of providing military comms for a rear link to southern Canada from a northern community.
To tie into that topic we were able to squeeze in a short introduction into the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System (CFARS), from our own Maj (Dan) Bergeron and Mr (Les) Lindstrom. Capt Frenette noted great potential for the challenge of Arctic Comms and the use of CFARS.
After lunch, we were fortunate to have MWO (Terry) Buffet from the Military Employment Structure (MES) Manager at DLCI and WO (Jimmy) Buffet from CFSCE speak to us on the new ACCIS MOSID. There were so many questions from the audience that unfortunately I had to close the session to allow for our next speaker. Both Terry and Jim gave a thorough brief and left their e-mails for all pers to follow up with any more questions. Here is the link if you wish to follow up on this topic: http://aws.kingston.mil.ca/Projects/ACISS/Communication/
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For the wrap up we were privileged to have Lt (Jeff) Leblanc from CFIOG/ CFNOC to speak to us about Network security both at home and in the DND workplace. He brought in some experts from the "Red Team" and gave us a live demo on just how easy it is to break into an unprotected network and gave words of advice to those of us who have wireless networks in our homes.
There you have it. It was a day full of germane topics and engaging speakers. There were so many Branch members interested in our PD subjects that at times the audience participation numbers swelled to a little over 300 people.
A special thanks to CFSCE for allowing us to use the Reading drill hall and providing such excellent support with workers to set up and tear down the seating. They also provided an extra canteen outlet for the use of the very large audience.