Summerside Show of Force Weekend

23/06/2019 Posted by admin

This past weekend the Snowbirds were part of the Sumerside Show of Force Airshow.   Most airshows these days are a combination of civilian acts and Military displays.  Summerside’s objective was to exclusively use the military.  The intent was to celebrate the fact that a large portion of the CF consists of people from the Maritimes.

Saturday gave us clear skies and the whole day went as planned.  The Snowbirds were the closing act and we were able to carry out a high show for the folks who turned out.  The winds had picked up earlier in the afternoon, so Mother Nature offered us up some significant mechanical turbulence that kept us working to remain in tight formation.   After we landed the team signed autographs until the last person made it through the line.  What I learnt was that this was the first time many of the young people in the area had seen the Snowbirds.  I later found out that it had been over 10 years since the last visit by the team.   

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HangZhou Night Net

While walking back to the car at the end of the day Marco and I spotted a Leopard tank driving on the far side of the aircraft ramp. I’d never seen the Leopard tank in action and the kid in me couldn’t resist seeing the 40 ton earth rumbling machine motor around.  We approached the cad pad soldiers’ in the area I politely asked what the chance for a ride was.  A few minutes later we were thundering across the field doing donuts! I was awesome.  You could only imagine the disappointed look on our teammate’s eyes when they found out what they missed out on.  

Sunday nights are typically the night the performers and the organizers get together and unwind.  While there, I began talking with the Captain of the HMCS Summerside.  After a bit, a couple of us were invited to visit the ship the next day to watch one of their training missions.  It was a chance for me to see how the Navy operates.  I’d flown over the Navy many times, so I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see how the Captain and his crew operate.  No matter who you belong to, the military is about training.  Training for just about any scenario one could think of.  The exercise for today’s trip was to react to a man overboard situation.  It was impressive to see that in a matter of six minutes the Captain instructed his crew to spin around a 1000 ton vessel, deploy a zodiac and have the soaked sailor back on board.   

The combination of great people, tanks, a huge ship and of course an airshow made for a great weekend.  Our job as Snowbirds is to represent all the people in the Canadian Forces.  This weekend helped in that I’m now better equipped to tell people how great the Army and Navy are.  Canadians should be proud of the work that these people do on a daily basis.  Bagotville is the next stop.  I can’t wait to see who we’ll meet next weekend. 

SB 6 



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