Soldiers complete final course in Canada


Four Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers have become part of history, as they are the last servicemen to graduate from an advanced aircraft maintenance technician course at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, in Canada.
After a nearly 30-year-old relationship between the two countries, Corporal Calverton Blagrove, Corporal Tauwee McLean, Corporal Oraine Riley and Corporal Samando Scott of the JDF became the last graduates to receive their certificates from the 16 Wing Commander of CFB Borden, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Wood, on October 20.

16 Wing Commander of Canadian Forces Base Borden, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Wood (left), presents Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Corporal Samando Scott (right), with his certificate at graduation ceremony in Canada. Looking on is Chief Warrant Officer, Luc Tremblay.

The course will now be part of the offering at the Jamaica Military Aviation School (JMAS), which was launched in 2006 with assistance from Canada.
Colonel General Staff of the JDF, Colonel Rocky Meade, told JIS News that the evolution of the course gives a story that is indicative of the wider relationship between Canada and Jamaica.
He described the graduation ceremony as “bitter sweet,” in that it is the last time the course will be given in Canada, but because of the capacity building assistance from Canada, the course will now be given in Jamaica.

16 Wing Commander of Canadian Forces Base Borden, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Wood (left), presents Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Corporal Oraine Riley (right), with his certificate at graduation ceremony in Canada. Looking on is Chief Warrant Officer, Luc Tremblay.

Colonel Meade told the Canadian Forces personnel that the JDF will continue to stand ready to partner with them because of the mutual respect and collaboration that have been established.
He congratulated the graduates on behalf of the new JDF Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, and commended them for their outstanding achievements. They did exceptionally well with marks in the 80s and 90s, and Corporal Blagrove received extra commendation for graduating with the highest mark in the course, 97 per cent.

16 Wing Commander of Canadian Forces Base Borden, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Wood (left), presents Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Corporal Calverton Blagrove (right), with his certificate at graduation ceremony in Canada. Looking on is Chief Warrant Officer, Luc Tremblay.

“You have done very well but remember what you have learnt here does not constitute all you need to know. You have been given a lot of technical knowledge but it is not enough. Consider the training here as the basic foundation you must build on,” Colonel Meade said.
He encouraged the graduates to take the next step of getting degrees in their technical area of competence.

16 Wing Commander of Canadian Forces Base Borden, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Wood (left) presents Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Corporal Tauwee McLean (right), with his certificate at graduation ceremony in Canada. Looking on is Chief Warrant Officer, Luc Tremblay.

Lieutenant Colonel Wood noted that since the co-operative training programme started in September 1982 between the two countries, some 250 JDF technicians have graduated from airtech schools in Canada.
“These highly trained graduates have gone on to do exceptional work, not only within the JDF, but some are also presently working all over the globe, including direct contributors to the Canadian Aviation industry,” he said.

Colonel General Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Colonel Rocky Meade (left), presents a special award to Corporal Calverton Blagrove (right), for receiving the highest marks in the Aviation course, at graduation ceremony in Canada.

Lieutenant Colonel Wood advised the graduates that in the field of aviation “good enough is simply not good enough. On any given day, an entire flight crew, colleagues and passengers, are trusting that your standard for job completion is one of excellence and never good enough.”
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, thanked Canada for its assistance to Jamaica’s military over the years, noting that the graduation ceremony was a significant juncture in the long history between the two nations.
Congratulating the graduates, the Consul General told them that their training will go a far way in helping to maintain the high standards of the Jamaica Defence Force.

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