Ties between Garrison Petawawa, County strong
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Garrison Petawawa and 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4CDSG) commander Col. Louis Lapointe addresses Renfrew County council during their inaugural meeting on Dec. 12. Accompanying the commander is Garrison Petawawa and 4CDSG sergeant-major Chief Warrant Officer Tom Verner.
Relations between Garrison Petawawa and the County of Renfrew have never been stronger, says the garrison's commander.
Addressing County council during their inaugural meeting on Dec. 12, Garrison Petawawa and 4th Canadian Division Support Group commander Col. Louis Lapointe said the past year has been an extraordinarily busy year for the garrison as 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2CMBG) fulfills its mandate as the Canadian Army's high readiness task force.
Under the designation of Taskforce Tomahawk, the brigade is currently deploying troops to Latvia, the Ukraine, the Middle East and smaller operations around the globe. The Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) continues to operate in Iraq and Kuwait, while 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron has just returned from assisting in fighting forest fires in British Columbia. To support such an undertaking has required an enormous commitment from the garrison, Col. Lapointe explained.
“Achieving and maintaining a high level of readiness means long hours, noise filled nights and constant demands of support from the Garrison Petawawa defence team, our families and local communities,” he said.
As Canada's leading operational base, the Department of National Defence (DND) has expended millions on quality of life projects to sustain and reinvest in the garrison and the well-being of those who work there. The garrison recently opened the newly-acquired Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) building, a $14 million 45,000-square foot CANEX flagship store and a 16-kilometre paved running trail. Construction continues on the new integrated health care facility, while shovels will soon be going into the ground for the $220 million CSOR building.
“While these infrastructure projects are contributing to the well-being of our soldiers and their families, these improvements are also an added injection into the community in terms of public use and contributing to the local economy in terms of jobs and stability,” Col. Lapointe noted.
The garrison pledged to continue working with the county to expand Petawawa Boulevard and partner with the upper tier to develop the Algonquin Trail through DND property. Col. Lapointe noted that the garrison embraces any opportunity to give back to their host community raising $75,000 for charities such as the United Way over the last 12 months.
“The ties between the county and the garrison are very deep,” “Geography and location made us neighbours but you friendship has made Renfrew County and this community a home that we are proud to be a part of,” he said.