Jim commenced his working career in the Federal Government as a Forestry Research assistant. He obtained a pilots licence in 1967, which then ricocheted into an air force career. Qualified as an ANav and Tacco, his aircrew time centred on operational ASW flying with the Argus firstly in the Atlantic, thence the Pacific. He did a stint in air cadet liaison including nearly 600 flights as a flying instructor and glider camp OIC, and including 2 or 3 NDE’s.
Requisite time at NDHQ led to a post grad degree in psychology in 1986, and a long bout of personnel employments, which he felt were mostly more like “hobbies” than work. A highlight was a USAF exchange at San Antonio, where he lucked in to the job of conducting an occupational analysis of USAF pilots. Many such OA projects ultimately led to a DND civilian career at NDHQ and a final ten years as a personnel policy section head. He retired in 2014 and now spends most of his time as grounds-keeper, pool maintenance guy, dog walker, chauffeur, loans officer, sports novice, nanny, linguist and seeker/imparter of wisdom, which appears, along with vulnerability under water-boarding, to have qualified him for president of MAVA
Out of fear of appearing directionless, Jeff entered the Canadian Forces in 1988 under the ROTP (civilian university) program, and eventually became an Air Navigator. Since the days of two-seat fast air were done, he gravitated to the only other aircraft where it appeared supervision would be lax and infrequent – Sea Kings.
Jeff found himself as the 12 Wing Operations Officer and, ultimately, CO 423 – mainly, it appears in hindsight, due to clerical errors. He later served in the office of the Chief of Defence Staff on two occasions, including as the aide de camp, and later as Special Advisor.
In recognition of his ability to gild lilies, he was then directed to formulate and propose a functional re-organization of the CF as a member of the 2011 CF Transformation Team; a feat that was widely panned as being far too logical and progressive to be seriously entertained. Jeff was then ordered to assess whether the faltering maritime helicopter project could or should be rehabilitated – a process during which he left no bridge unburned in a relentless quest for truth, liberty, and the freedom to finally replace the Sea King.
Once he had exhausted the patience of the RCAF, Jeff worked in industry in a variety of business development and government relations roles, including for General Dynamics Mission Systems Canada. He currently operates a small, independent consultancy under the trade name AVERNICA and publishes a personal blog that can be found here.
Bob joined the RCAF in 1962, trained as an RO, did a tour with 405 Squadron and then, while flying on Test Flight, lost his category because of an ear that didn’t like flying. He transferred to Air Traffic Control and had postings in Greenwood, Bagotville, Goose Bay and Trenton. He ended his career as a Staff Officer at NDHQ in charge of the administration of the Forces Reduction Program, which made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. He retired in 1995.
In 1999 he suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm from which came many unexplained side-effects: he is now afraid of flying, heights, crowds, loud noises and Norwegians.
Bob’s experience with the Army cadets and Army Militia, combined with a desire to see the world formed his motivation to join the RCAF in 1967. He was trained as an ESO (Electronic System Officer) also known as an RO (Radio Officer) and thereafter as an ANAV (Air Navigator). His entire military carrier was spent in the Atlantic Provinces with Maritime Command, splitting his postings between CFB Summerside, VP415 and MP&EU (Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit), and CFB Greenwood VP405, MP&EU (he was there during the move) and ASDU (Aurora Software Development Unit).
While in Greenwood Bob obtained his Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree from Acadia University. Accumulating more than 5000 flying hours, mainly on the Argus and a little bit on the Aurora, Bob was thoroughly familiarized with the North Atlantic part of the world (mainly water!). Retiring in 1988, he co-founded Nova-Data System, still in Greenwood, providing a software solution for car and property insurance ratings to Insurance Brokers across Canada. After 10 years, his competitor made him an offer he could not refuse.
In 1998 he moved to Ottawa, where he has twice been brought out of retirement by General Dynamics Canada to work on the SH-60 acoustic processors, the Aurora Project and the Maritime Helicopter Project software updates. He and his wife, Louise still enjoy regular traveling in their quest to see the world.
“Holy Mackerel” (Meeting Coordinator)
Brian hails from Sudbury where he started his aviation career as an air cadet then in the reserves. After the ROTP/RMC thing he married his high school sweetheart, Sheila, and graduated as a Navigator. They proceeded to Summerside in 1961.
After 2MOTU, he joined the newly formed 415 Sqn. The highlight there was operations during the Cuban crisis. Later postings to MP&EU and Maritime HQ, seemed to fix his career in the Maritime Air environment. His ground tours were mainly in Ottawa amongst the Maritime Air Engineering tribe. However, they did treat him well and allowed him to work on neat things like systems for the Argus replacement and, heaven forbid, a far-fetched Sea King replacement in 1973.
Since everyone realized these programs would take some time Brian was allowed to fly with 407 Sqn before heading down to Lockheed, Burbank to join an illustrious team putting together the CP-140 Aurora. For all that Maritime effort, he was rewarded with a tour in the NORAD world as CO of Dana, Saskatchewan. Brian ended his military career at the Staff College giving out “Met Standards” to promising young majors who weren’t of the Maritime Persuasion.
Brian’s post military career featured several Canadian aerospace companies. Of Maritime note was his time at Hermes, NS where he was involved in the development and production of the world’s finest sonobuoys. A fitting postscript to a maritime aviation beginning.
Assistant Meeting Coordinator
Born and raised in Edmonton, Fred joined the RCAF 1n 1961. He attended the University of Alberta under the Regular Officer Training Plan and graduated as an Electrical Engineer in 1964. He trained as a long range Maritime Navigator.
During a 23 year career as a navigator, Fred flew operationally about 3000 hrs on the Argus and Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. During this period he also attended the Aerospace Systems Engineer course and the RCAF Staff College. Fred also served a 3 year tour as the Commanding Officer, Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit. Fred retired from the RCAF in 1987.
He joined the staff of the Canadian Coast Guard and served as a navigation system engineer for 15 years until he retired in 2002. Subsequently he acted as an advisor to Carleton University 4th year engineering students for approximately 2 years.
Jim began his interest in things military via Air Cadets in Prince Albert, Sask. This led to a short stint in the RCAF reserves, followed by enrollment in the ROTP program and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1965.
Navigator training led to a posting to 405 Squadron on the Argus in Greenwood, then the Aerospace Systems Course and an exchange posting with the RAF at Boscombe Down in the UK, doing flight testing on several Nav & Radio systems. Aurora project office, staff college, 415 Squadron (on Argus & Aurora), then a variety of NDHQ staff appointments followed.
Following retirement from the CF in 1995, Jim continued to work in the DND environment as a reservist/public servant/consultant in varied capacities in the Space environment as well as NBCD project management. Fully retired since 2004, Jim’s main interest is trying to maintain some level of competence at golf!
Paul joined the RCN in 1963 and was posted to HMCS Shearwater where he re-mustered to Observer and received his wings in 1967. He served in that MOC (now known as an Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator) for the remainder of his career.
Paul accumulated a total of 7115 flight hours during his extensive 25 year Maritime flying career which included 4 aircraft types; the Tracker, Sea King, Argus and Aurora, and six squadrons; VS 880, HS 50, VT 406, VP 415, MR 880/ABATS and VP 407. This period also included service in HCMS Bonaventure where he endured the rigours of 63 catapult launches and 70 arrested landings. He also logged a total of 607 destroyer deck landings while flying Sea Kings with HS 50 in HCMS Ottawa.
Paul was recognized several times throughout his military career for performance above and beyond the call of duty, in particular the Star of Courage, awarded in recognition of an act of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril. He completed his 32 years of service in Ottawa as the EWEDC Data Base Manager, responsible for executive level decisions/guidance to senior staff of NATO’s Electronic Warfare Division during the first Gulf War and in the Bosnia/Kosovo era.
Paul has spent the last 24 years on the executive of VPI and helped develop guidelines for MAVA.
Following graduation from Royal Roads and Royal Military College Ernie received his wings at the Air Navigation School in Winnipeg in 1966. After completing operational training in Summerside PEI, he was transferred to 404 Squadron in Greenwood where he became known as “Joe Ocean” for introducing oceanography into ASW mission planning. Ernie’s next posting took him to 449 Squadron as a tactics and oceanography instructor.
Following graduation from the Aerospace Systems Course in Winnipeg in 1972, Ernie was posted on exchange duties to the U.S. Navy, Naval Air Development Center in Warminster PA where he was responsible for the software design and systems flight testing for the P-3C Orion Update, and training the first U.S. Navy squadron to convert to the updated Orion.
Following a year at Staff College, Ernie’s experience with the U.S. Navy proved invaluable during his next posting to the Aurora Program Office in Ottawa as the Operational Requirements Manager and later as the Director of Requirements. In 1980, Ernie returned to Greenwood where he led 405 Squadron in transition from the Argus to the CP-140 Aurora. The highlight on 405 was winning the coveted Fincastle trophy in Australia in the Aurora’s first appearance in the Commonwealth ASW competition.
Ernie’s following postings included; Training System HQ, Trenton; MARCOM/MARLANT HQ, Halifax; and Maritime Air Group, Halifax from where he retired as Deputy Commander in 1995. Ernie volunteered at the Shearwater Aviation Museum and was acknowledged as an authority on maritime and naval aviation history. In 2014, Ernie and wife, Carol, moved to Ottawa to be closer to family.
Past President (20 May 2015 – 11 September 2018)
Duane joined 415 Sqn, Summerside in 1967 and the co-located MP&EU in 1971, before attending the Aerospace Systems Course (ASC) in 1975. The MP&EU experience proved invaluable on his exchange posting with USN VX-1 Sqn in “Pax River”, MD in 1976. After the Argus, he was amazed to fly in a Test environment with all new ASW and Weapon systems and “limitless” resources and flight hours.
Follow-on postings included Staff College, DMA, BADO Summerside, RAF College of Air Warfare, CO 415 Sqn, Director Air Requirements (Maritime), Base Commander Summerside and Commander Northern Area.
Duane retired early from the Air Force in 1995 to become Dominion Secretary of The Royal Canadian Legion at its National HQ in Ottawa and spent 14 years serving Canada’s Veterans. The highlight of his time with the Legion was initiating and leading the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Project, implemented in a major National Ceremony in 2000. Following retirement from the Legion in 2009, Duane was one of the Co-Founders of The Young Citizens Foundation with which he remains today as the Vice President. Duane looks forward to continued membership and support of the Maritime Air Veterans Association, and retains his membership with the Legion and the RCAF Association. In the quiet moments he enjoys his hobby as a coin collector.
Michael (Tap) Fawcett
Past President (14 Feb 2014 – 20 May 2015)
Tap joined 404 Squadron, Greenwood in 1963 as an RO, eventually cross-training to LR Nav. Direct Maritime experience included two tours at ADAC, one as CO: a tour with 407 Squadron in Comox; and at DMA.
He spent 8 years in ADM (Mat) Group doing avionics engineering, Weapon System Management and following DMA service was the PM for the painfully long start of the Aurora Update programme and then for the Arcturus Acquisition.
After 33 years in uniform, he spent a further 19 years as a civvie in the Programme Branch at NDHQ.
Services Officer (Honorary Member)
Peter Ambroziak joined the Canadian Army Reserve while still in high school. After two years of service he enlisted in the Canadian Army Regular as an infantry soldier and served for three years. Following this service he went to university and in 1964 joined the Regular Officer Training Plan. Upon graduation in 1967 he was commissioned in the Ordnance Corps and joined the staff of the CF School of Management. The supply world beckoned and he spent some time in supply warehouses.
More postings led to the Combat Arms School and a re muster to the Infantry profession. With age and the demands of a family he left the Forces and started a 19 year career with the federal public service. Upon retirement in 1996 he joined the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada as Dominion Secretary Treasurer. After three years and a contribution to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier project he served with the Royal Canadian Legion as a service officer for eight years.
In his later years he and his wife of 50 years have walked El camino de Santiago de Compostella and taken on other adventures like the Grand Canyon.
Father Stephen Silverthorne
Fr. Stephen completed his seminary training at Wycliffe College, Toronto. He was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada in May 2002, and has served in parishes in Cornwall, Long Sault and Barrhaven, Ontario. He served as Chaplain to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 569 in Long Sault, Ontario, until his posting to Barrhaven in 2014. He currently serves as Rector of Good Shepherd parish in Barrhaven.
He has served as chaplain to MAVA since 2016 and maintains his membership in the Legion. He enjoys the fellowship both organizations bring and appreciates the opportunity to contribute in a small way to the spiritual wellbeing of those who have given service to our nation in the military. He is married, with four young daughters. He maintains an interest in cinema, philosophy, cooking and home brewing beer.