New Commanding Officer for CFB Halifax BIS
By Joanie Veitch,
After commanding Base information Services (BIS) at CFB Halifax for more than three years, Capt(N) Eric McCallum handed the watch to Cdr Jon Lee at a change of command ceremony held at Juno Tower on August 17.
“It’s a tough job,” said Capt(N) McCallum, as he launched into a story to illustrate the role BIS plays — likening it to a scenario in a family’s home after the internet has gone down.
“All the family members look at each other and say ‘the internet’s not working’ but there’s a person who gets up and goes and fiddles with the router and gets the internet working again. At Headquarters that’s the N6, It’s a pretty important job.”
Listing by name many individuals who supported him and the BIS mission, Capt(N) McCallum thanked the BIS team for their hard work, noting the “therapeutic effect” of being able to express his gratitude and say goodbye after working together through such a difficult time.
With nearly 350 employees across six departments at CFB Halifax, the BIS team is responsible for all IT services supporting the workforce both at the base, and extending worldwide when ships and other Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) units are on deployment.
Given the “unparalleled challenges” created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of BIS has involved a lot more than just keeping the wifi on, said Capt(N) Sean Williams, CFB Halifax Base Commander, as he commended Capt(N) McCallum for his service and welcomed Cdr Lee.
“Your team has achieved great things under your leadership…making sure the base, the formation and all of our lodger units could change how we do business, by keeping us connected and making sure we continued to operate at capacity,” said Capt(N) Williams.
Capt(N) McCallum is going to Ottawa, where he will manage the Victoria-class submarine modernization program.
Having spent many years on the East Coast, Cdr Lee has served both on warships and on shore, with postings at the Combat Systems Support Centre, Maritime Warfare Centre, and FMF Cape Scott/FMF Cape Breton as the Business Analytics section head. Most recently, he was at the Directorate of Naval Strategic Management and Directorate of Digital Navy. Thanking BIS personnel for their welcome during the time of transition, Cdr Lee channelled “BIS parlance” in describing the experience thus far: “This past week I was in receive mode and you were all in transmit mode. And I’ll probably remain transmit level zero for the next few months.”