New Base Commander happy to return to the east coast
By Ryan Melanson,
The last time Capt(N) David Mazur was posted to Halifax was more than 15 years ago, serving in HMCS Halifax as the ship’s Command Control Information Officer. Since then, he’s progressed through his career in Esquimalt, with a resume that now includes stints as the Canadian Fleet Pacific Operations Officer, the CO of HMCS Vancouver, and the CO of Sea Training Pacific.
He’s no stranger to command, but his latest tasking promises to bring a host of new challenges, as he takes the reigns of Canada’s largest military base. Capt(N) Mazur officially took command of CFB Halifax on July 11 at a ceremony inside the STADPLEX gym at Stadacona.
“I couldn’t be happier to be back in Halifax. I recognize the key role CFB Halifax plays in supporting the Fleet and other operations, and it’s clear that I’m taking over the helm of a very dedicated and professional team,” he said.
He thanked outgoing CFB Halifax Base Commander Capt(N) Paul Forget for his work and leadership in the position over the previous 15 months, as well RAdm Craig Baines, Commander MARLANT and JTFA, for having confidence in him to lead the base through the coming years, and his family, including wife Marise and sons Kevin and Eric, who attended the ceremony.
Along with members of MARLANT senior leadership and a cross-section of uniformed and civilian employees of CFB Halifax, the Change of Command was also attended by His Honour Arthur J. Leblanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and Her Honour Patsy Leblanc, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean Michel Blais, and other members of the wider community, highlighting the links that exist between the base and the Halifax Regional Municipality.
In an address at the ceremony, RAdm Baines noted that being a good community neighbour, and maintaining relationships with all levels of government, is one of the ways the job differs from other command appointments.
“The job of base commander is a complex one, requiring a unique set of skills to manage the diverse portfolio and workforce that encompasses CFB Halifax,” he said, while also expressing confidence in Capt(N) Mazur’s abilities in his new role.
“The size and scale of this task is considerably larger, but I know he’s ready for the challenge and I know he’ll make the best of this opportunity to hone his skills in areas that are atypical for a Naval Warfare Officer.”
Outgoing Base Commander Capt(N) Forget was lauded for successes during his short time leading CFB Halifax, and his year spent as MARLANT Chief of Staff before that. This included spearheading Canada 150 events at the base in 2017, facilitating the handovers of CFS St. John’s and Detachment Cape Breton to the Canadian Army, and working with the province on a new health care strategy to support military families in the region.
Capt(N) Forget will now head to Ottawa for a position with the Director Military Careers Administration. He thanked the many units and organizations connected to CFB Halifax for the support during his tenure, naming BLog, BIS, BAdm, Base Comptroller and others, along with civilian-led groups like QHM, Base Fire Department, the Halifax & Region MFRC and PSP Halifax. He also praised his internal staff and the three Base Chief Petty Officers, CPO1 Lee Brown, CPO1 Dave Steeves, and now CPO1 Kent Gregory, who have served during his command.
“They all form a united group delivering force support at the largest base in Canada. The professionalism and incredible dedication they show in dealing with problems from day to day is unsurpassed, and the ability and flexibility they’ve shown in ever-changing circumstances, cannot be overstated,” he said.
“I have no doubt those efforts will continue past my departure.”