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Major Francois Fasquelle taking over command of 103 Search and Rescue Squadron from Major James Pinhorn

New commander for 103

GANDER, N.L. – The 103 Search and Rescue Squadron in Gander ceremoniously welcomed a new squadron commander on Thursday, July 5.

Major Francois Fasquelle will be taking on the role. Speaking to those in attendance, he expressed his gratitude and dedication to the squadron.

“It’s a privilege to take over as commanding officer,” Fasquelle said. “But I’m not just taking it over as a commanding officer, I’m taking over as thee commanding officer of the 103 squadron – which I truly believe is the best squadron in the nation.”

The ceremony was held at the 103 Search and Rescue hangar of the 9 Wing Gander base, across from Gander International Airport. Members of the Canadian Coast Guard and RCMP, Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms, Gander MHA John Haggie, Gander Councillor Gina Brown, and many others were in attendance.

Having worked closely with Fasquelle for several years, outgoing squadron commander Major James Pinhorn said Fasquelle is fortunate to have been named to the commander position, but the 103 squadron is equally fortunate to have him.

“Having been here for such a long time, 103 has come to occupy a special place in my heart. I’m glad it is [Fasquelle] that is taking over,” Pinhorn said. “For him, this is an honour that is just beginning.”

The two majors were joined at the ceremony by their families. An inspection of the squadron parade, a signing and presentation were held to make the change of command official. During the ceremony, Fasquelle carried a sword belonging to his grandfather.

During her remarks, 9 Wing Base Commander Lietenant-Colonel Jenn Weissenborn said with confidence that the command of the 103 Search and Rescue Squadron will be in left in safe hands.

“Your dedication, focus, imagination and pragmatism will serve you well during your command,” Weissenborn said to the new squadron commander. “Our team will continue to thrive under your leadership.”


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