Base Commander Change of Command

Base Commander Change of Command Ceremony 2012

Base Commander Capt(N) Bob Auchterlonie assumed command from Capt(N) Craig Baines during the Change of Command Ceremony held in Naden’s Parade Square. The change of command cermony was administered by RAdm Bill Truelove (centre).

Friends, family, and colleagues gathered last Thursday to bid farewell to a great leader – Capt(N) Craig Baines – and warmly welcome the new head of CFB Esquimalt.

In a Change of Command ceremony held on Museum Square, Capt(N) Baines passed on the responsibilities of Base Commander to Capt(N) Bob Auchterlonie.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from surrounding municipalities and communities, including Esquimalt mayor Barbara Desjardins and representatives of the Esquimalt and Salish First Nations, Chief Andy Thomas, Elder Mary Anne Thomas and Elder Elmer George.

“While I am happy to pass on the reasonability of command, this day is also bittersweet,” said Capt(N) Baines. “Having command is a bit like playing poker, with the mission as the pot.

Luckily for me I was dealt a hand of aces. One of those aces is every man and woman, civilian and military, of CFB Esquimalt. For all that you’ve done in these past few years, I would like to personally thank you.”

Capt(N) Baines expressed in excitement and respect for Capt(N) Auchterlonie, and the comfort with which he turns over command.

“He is a man of tremendous experience and professionalism, and I’m excited to see where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there,” he said before the turnover. “I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to turn command over to such a great friend and know that all the great work the men and women of CFB Esquimalt do will continue under his watch.”

Following his speech, he joined Capt(N) Auchterlonie and RAdm Truelove in signing over command. Those assembled watched as Capt(N) Baines’ pennant was lowered and presented to him, signifying the end of his tenure as Base Commander.

In a burst of applause, Capt(N) Auchterlonie then took to the podium for the first time as Base Commander of CFB Esquimalt, addressing the crowd and honouring his friend and predecessor.

“Craig has established an outstanding reputation and working relationship with the surrounding communities. He dedicated himself to maintaining those relationships and keeping those ties strong,” he said. “I promise to try and not ruin those relationships in the next two months.”

Capt(N) Auchterlonie, returning to his home on the West Coast after nine years at various postings in Eastern Canada, is prepared to face the responsibilities of command.

“I am keenly aware of the challenges that the base is going to face over my tenure, and I am confident that I have the experience and wisdom to lead the base through these next feww years.”

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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