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918 Squadron History

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In 2017, the first hints of what would become 918 Griffon Squadron began to develop. 781 Calgary Squadron, parading over 260 cadets, was growing too large to efficiently manage and parade within their existing facilities. A new Squadron in Calgary North West was the best answer, and from there, planning for a new unit began to take shape. Mr. Martin Ponciano worked with Ms. Darlene LaRoche from the Air Cadet League to form the Sponsoring Committee in the spring of 2018 and started the forming of a new squadron. During the summer of 2018, an initial staff cadre was selected under the leadership of Capt Erica Angel. After a few short months of planning, a new parade location was secured and a group of cadets interested in the challenge and opportunity of a new Squadron formed the core of the new unit.

In September 2018, “781a Satellite Flight” began parading separately in Good Shepherd Church. Supported by 781 Sqn, the independent satellite flight paraded 74 returning cadets on the very first night, followed by a significant influx of new recruits in the weeks and months following. The new satellite flight rapidly developed a unique and independent identity, and worked quickly to fulfill the requirements needed to form a brand new squadron. In short months, the satellite flight had grown to 130 cadets (spread across 4 flights), with a military band, marksmanship team, and drill team.

On November 19, 2018, the Squadron was granted its official charter and began the administrative processes to stand up and parade independently. On December 12, 2019 we promoted to Warrant Officer First Class Dyllon Wong to be our first official cadet squadron commander. On March 2, 2019, 918 Griffon Squadron held it’s formal charter ceremony, unveiling the Squadron banner for the first time. The new banner was passed from the Squadron Sponsoring Committee to the RCSU(NW) CO, to the new Commanding Officer, to the Cadet Squadron Commander, and finally the banner carrier, who marched it through the open ranks of the Squadron for all cadets to identify.

 

The remainder of the first year was a blur of activity. By the time 918 Squadron held it’s very first Annual Ceremonial Review, the Squadron had sent cadets to the Yukon, the Atlantic Provinces, and across Alberta. 918 cadets competed in effective speaking, marksmanship, and two drill competitions (finishing second in both). The first ACR Reviewing Officer was Maj Lapierre, DCO of 408 THS, who helped to unveil some perpetual squadron awards and the new Squadron Badge (crest). This would also be the beginning of a formal unit affiliation – a natural fit between 918 Griffon Squadron and 408 THS, who flew the CH-146 Griffon down to the ceremony.

Commanding Officers:
1 Sep 2018 – 19 Nov 2018 = Capt Erica Angel (Officer Commanding, 781a Satellite Flight)
19 Nov 2018 – Present = Capt Erica Angel (First Commanding Officer)

Cadet Squadron Commanders:
1 Sep 2018 – 11 Dec 2018 = Nil. (None appointed while satellite flight)
12 Dec 2019 – 24 Mar 2020 = WO1 Dyllon Wong
1 Apr 2020 – Present = WO2 Valerie Leung

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