New CO for a world-class CSS battalion
The soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen of 2 Service Battalion welcomed home Lt.-Col. Kieran Kennedy as the combat support unit conducted their change of command ceremony Monday.
Formed up on Nicklin Parade Square, the equipment operators, technicians, administration and support specialists, logistics personnel and maintainers who make up the battalion said goodbye to Lt.-Col. Corinna Heilman, who is moving to Washington, D.C. To attend the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University.
A quick inspection of the troops was conducted by 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group commander Brig.-Gen. Conrad Mialkowski before Lt.-Col. Heilman led her unit one final time in a march past salute. The commander then officiated the signing of the command scrolls between Lt.-Col. Heilman and Lt.-Col. Kennedy.
While a change of command is an important moment to recognize for the battalion, it is the personnel who makes the unit tick, Brig.-Gen. Mialkowski told the parade. Although it is a brigade unit, the commander noted that the battalion supports lodger units of the garrison as well as units and formations across the province.
“The demands of looking after 7,000 soldiers and more beyond is unqiue. They are not your standard soldiers,” Brig.-Gen. Mialkowski said in his remarks. “They are service support warriors and I am amazed by what this unit is capable of doing. I would ask you to continue to do that world-class combat service support for which this battalion is well-known.”
The battalion, which provides second-line combat service support to 2 CMBG, including transportation, supply, and maintenance to assigned formations for domestic and deployed operations, will have a busy road ahead as the brigade becomes the Canadian Army's next high readiness task force. That deployable formation has been designated Task Force Tomahawk and will be ready to respond to orders from Ottawa beginning in July. Canada is deploying 450 troops to Latvia to lead a battlegroup comprised of soldiers from five other NATO countries as part of Operation Reassurance - a multinational mission aimed at discouraging Russian aggression in the region.
Since arriving here two years ago, the battalion's schedule has been hectic for Lt.-Col. Heilman. The unit has not only support major collective training events, such as Exercise Maple Resolve in Wainwright, Alberta, but operations overseas. She said she was proud of all that the battalion has accomplished.
“With each task and training opportunity day in and day out, you have made me exceptionally proud. Being your commanding officer has been an honour and a priviledge,” said Lt.-Col. Heilman in her final address to the battalion. “I wish all the best in the coming year.”
A native of Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, Lt.-Col. Kennedy enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2003. His first posting was 2 Service Battalion. He deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2005 and later to Kandahar in 2009. In 2013, he became the Army Logistics Officer Career Manager. He promoted to his current rank two years later and employed as the deputy direction Canadian Army logistics. He is a graduate of Bishop's University, Royal Military College and the Canadian Army and Canadian Forces staff colleges. He and his wife, Myriam, have four children.
“Commanding such an outstanding unit is a priviledge I do not take lightly,” Lt.-Col. Kennedy said in his brief remarks to his troops. “Having just come from the Army headquarters I can say hand on heart that you have a great reputation as a unit that punches above its weight. I look forward to soldiering with you CSS warriors.”