Greetings, Defence Team.
As many of us prepare to leave on holiday break, I would like to share how impressed I am at the level of success, dedication and professionalism our CFB Halifax team has demonstrated in 2022.
From the team at King’s Harbour Master that enables our fleet and visiting vessels to move safely in, around and beyond the Halifax Harbour to our accommodations staff who ensure visitors and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members on training are housed comfortably, our Base workforce continues providing outstanding support to those it serves. These, of course, are only two of the many ways that CFB Halifax serves personnel and units within the Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) formation and across over 75 local lodger units, all in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations at home and abroad. For more on our team members’ accomplishments in 2022, keep an eye out for our End of Year Review series that will be posted on our Base Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts between December 19 and the New Year.
Our CFB Halifax team has also been hard at work supporting community partners on the ground in 2022, whether by participating in the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign, collaborating with Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building or participating in community events and ceremonial activities such as the Halifax Pride Festival or local Remembrance Day programs, among many others. Community outreach is essential to relationship-building and to making a difference in peoples’ lives – and I thank you for being the best Base ambassadors.
We have also had the privilege of working with and learning from many students this year thanks to the Government of Canada’s Federal Student Work Experience Program and various high school and post-secondary co-operative education programs. Bringing in a new generation of leaders to support our organization will hopefully also allow us to harness institutional change and diversify our workforce in the future. Bravo Zulu to all students who brought their skills and talents to CFB Halifax in 2022!
As we close out another calendar year, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the hard work of the many lodger units who call CFB Halifax home. Teams such as Real Property Operations Section Halifax, Military Police Unit (Halifax), Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Atlantic) and CAF Transition Centre Halifax ensure our lights remain on and that our members are healthy, safe and supported in all stages of employment. Many thanks to all lodger units who contribute to the success of our members and operations.
In 2022 (and beyond), the Base is as committed as ever to fostering employment equity for all members. As Champion of the Halifax Defence Visible Minorities Advisory Group and ally to our four other regional Defence Advisory Groups (DAG) – the Atlantic Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group, the Halifax Region Defence Women’s Advisory Organization, the Defence Advisory Group for Persons with Disabilities and the Atlantic Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization – I would like to thank all volunteers, co-chairs and champions for the amazing work being done promoting diversity, equality and inclusion as well as advocating for our members this past year. I encourage every Defence Team member to learn more about DAGs and how you can get involved by clicking here.
A special thanks to families
Being part of a long-standing military family myself, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our amazing military and civilian families. Every day, they make sacrifices and display great resilience – enabling our entire organization to sustain itself and thrive regardless of the conditions. They are the foundation that keeps our institution solid, grounded and safe. Families allow us to exist and empower everything we do. Every single one of our families deserves our unwavering respect and support this holiday season (as well as all year long).
You are never alone
In writing this message, I recognize the holiday season can be an anxious and lonely time for many. Please remember that you are never alone and that specialized resources exist to support you and your family, 24/7, 365 days a year. For CAF members, the Member Assistance Program (1-800-268-7708) and Family Information Line (1-800-866-4546) are available 24/7. You can connect with a local Chaplain by calling 902-721-8660 (weekdays) and 902-427-7788 (evenings and weekends) or book an appointment with the mental health unit at the Base clinic at 902-721-8607. For DND members, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (1-800-268-7708 or 1-800-567-5803 *TTY– for people with hearing impairments) is available 24/7. Further, our local EAP Office can be reached at 902-240-8251.
As we look forward to 2023, there are some big projects on the horizon for our members and the larger DND/CAF institution happening right here at CFB Halifax. The year 2023 will see a winterized fitness facility constructed at Stadacona; the start of construction of a Canadian Surface Combatant Land-Based Testing Facility at Hartlen Point; continued work on Halifax Regional Municipality’s Cogswell District Project in the vicinity of HMC Dockyard and more. For information on these and other Base updates, you can visit our Base Updates page on the Trident website where the latest information will continue to be posted.
Wishing you all safe and happy holidays – and a wonderful start to 2023! Take care of yourselves, and of one another, during this special time.
Your Base Commander,
Capt(N) Andy MacKenzie