Army cook takes ocean dip with Logistics flag

On dry land: Army cook Corporal Patrick Espanola of 19 Mission Support Squadron prepares fish for lunch in the kitchen of 19 Wing Comox. In the deep: Cpl Espanola at about 45 feet (14 metres) below sea level off the coast of British Columbia with the Logistics Branch special 50th anniversary flag. Photos by Corporal Curtis Coles, 19 Mission Support Squadron and member, Pacific Divers SCUBA Club

On dry land: Army cook Corporal Patrick Espanola of 19 Mission Support Squadron prepares fish for lunch in the kitchen of 19 Wing Comox. In the deep: Cpl Espanola at about 45 feet (14 metres) below sea level off the coast of British Columbia with the Logistics Branch special 50th anniversary flag. Photos by Corporal Curtis Coles, 19 Mission Support Squadron and member, Pacific Divers SCUBA Club

Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Martin,
Director Public Affairs Planning (Operations) ~

A Canadian Army cook stationed at 19 Wing Comox has made history by being the first to dive to a depth of nearly 60 feet, or about 18 metres below sea level, with the Logistics Branch 50th Anniversary Flag and Pennant.

Corporal Patrick Espanola of 19 Mission Support Squadron made the salt-water dive in Tayee Cove, Nanoose, B.C., on Feb. 19 with the safety assistance of fellow members of the Pacific Divers SCUBA Club.

“To me, this Flag is building connections from here to the farthest coast,” said Cpl Espanola. “It shows how we support each other and we rely on teamwork.”

Cpl Espanola and his friends made the 30-minute dive under chilly temperatures.

“We wore dry-suits and dove to about 55 feet [17 metres] below the surface. The visibility wasn’t very good so we came back to about 35 to 45 feet [11 to 14 metres] for the photographs.”

He has been a cook in 19 Wing Comox since 2015. Along with his dive club membership, he has held executive membership in the Wing’s Auto Club and Woodworking Club, is the food representative at the Junior Ranks Mess, is a bartender for all three messes at the Wing, and if that wasn’t enough, he is a member of the Ground Search and Rescue Team in the Comox Valley.

The 50th Anniversary Flag Relay has already visited 11 countries and two American states. It has travelled a distance well over the circumference of the Earth at the Equator.

The Flag will continue across Canada culminating with a special parade on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Oct. 19, when the Logistics Branch receives the ‘Royal’ designation from Her Majesty as the Branch becomes the Royal Canadian Logistics Service.

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