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Posted: May 15, 2017

Army Reserve squadron changes hands

The Canadian Army Reserve in the Kootenays has a new leader.

The 44 Engineer Squadron held a change of appointment parade May 14 in Trail at the Kemball Armoury. Major Leah Byrne, from Cranbrook, will take over command from Major Achim von Wiedner.

Maj Byrne is an Air Force Public Affairs Officer who served 20 years in the Regular Force and has been working with the Reserves in Cranbrook since 2011. Maj von Wiedner took over command of the Squadron last year and is retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces after a long and distinguished career.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead such a highly skilled and diverse group of men and women,” said Maj Leah Byrne, incoming Officer Commanding. “We are growing the Army presence in the Kootenays. I’m excited to be part of that, as it means we will have stronger capabilities in the region as we enhance our training, as well we are providing job opportunities.”

44 Engineer Squadron is based in Trail and Cranbrook and is part of 39 Combat Engineer Regiment.  Soldiers from the unit are trained as Combat Engineers and Engineering Officers. In the Army Reserves the role of engineers includes constructing and maintain roads and airfields, building bridges, providing safe drinking water, constructing defences, detecting and disposing of mines, as well as operating heavy equipment.

44 Field Engineer Squadron originated in Trail in 1947.  Recently the Squadron provided reserve soldiers as augmentees for Canada’s deployment to Afghanistan.

Members of the troop parade in Cranbrook at the Kennedy Drill Hall and in Trail at the Kemball Armoury, on Thursday nights at 7 p.m.

Anyone interested in joining the Army Reserve is encouraged to contact the unit or a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.

44 Engineer Squadron – 
1990 Seventh Avenue, 
Trail, B.C., V1R 3C3 or call 1-866-368-2129 or 250-368-2129.

Submitted by Captain Graeme Kaine, Public Affairs Officer, 39 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters, Canadian Armed Forces


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