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With outbreaks of COVID-19 in several places throughout the world, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton is taking measures to ensure continuity of operations, while ensuring that its members are not placed at undue risk. The members of 8 Wing remain poised, as always, to support any mission tasked to them by the Government of Canada. As the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Air Mobility hub, Trenton said it is constantly tracking the global impact of the COVID-19 virus and taking measures to educate its members and mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 thereby protecting its personnel, their families, neighbours and communities.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) recently ordered the activation of Operation Laser (pandemic response). To this end, 8 Wing Trenton is implementing measures to ensure three priorities:
- Maintain operations at the wing;
- Preserve the health of our forces; and
- Maintain responsive support to civil authorities as part of the Government of Canada’s response.
The activation of this operation, effective March 13, 2020, will see a number of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton personnel telework and alternate shift timings for an initial period of three weeks, while continuing to maintain all of its core operations. In order to maintain air operations at 8 Wing, including search and rescue, only those personnel fulfilling core mandates that require physical presence on the base and those supporting its partner agencies as part of Task Force Paratus/Operation Globe (quarantine of returned Canadians) will do so.
The wing is continually reviewing the domestic and international situations. During this assessment, it employs all options that either eliminate or mitigate the risk to its personnel and their families while accomplishing its missions on behalf of the Government of Canada and fellow Canadians. While it continues key operations at home and abroad, CFB Trenton embraces prevention and good hygiene recognizing they are key to enabling our missions. There is an assurance that all members of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton are following the same hygienic protocol all Canadian citizens are asked to:
- wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
- avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- cough or sneeze into sleeves and not hands; and
- stay home if sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
Should there be a need to isolate symptomatic members on base returning from missions, Trenton has strict protocols in place to preserve the effectiveness of our capabilities and the confidence of its community.
While the wing know this is a time of increased uncertainty, know that it will continue to deliver on it mission to protect you, fellow Canadians. Your support and confidence in the members of 8 Wing /CFB Trenton continues to be the inspiration of those who serve. It is the community strength and commitment which will enable us to overcome this challenge as it has all others previously. For those in search of an accurate and factual account of information regarding COVID-19, CFB Trenton encourages you to visit this link.