Photo by Cpl. Nathan Spence Wing Chief Warrant CWO J-C Parent and 19 Wing Commander Col. Mike Atkins present Capt. Wayne Atwood (centre) with the Royal Canadian Air Force Commander’s Commendation.

19 Wing Comox officer awarded Royal Canadian Air Force Commander’s Commendation

Capt. Wayne Atwood was awarded the Royal Canadian Air Force Commander’s Commendation yesterday for outstanding professionalism and dedication during a rescue mission near Gander, N.L. in 2014.

Atwood, cormorant pilot at 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of 19 Wing Comox, was presented a framed certificate and a pin to wear on the left pocket of his dress uniform by Col. Mike Atkins, 19 Wing Commander, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Michael Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“On 16 April 2014, Captain Atwood, a cormorant search and rescue helicopter pilot, was instrumental in the rescue of four stranded sailors from the Double N fishing vessel, entrapped in sea ice and on an imminent collision course with a fast approaching large iceberg, 70 nautical miles northeast of Fogo Island in the North Atlantic,” reads the certificate. “He skillfully navigated the helicopter in this complicated night rescue compounded by low visibility, icy conditions, icebergs and 110-kilometre per hour winds. Captain Atwood expertly monitored the aircraft systems, providing his crew with crucial information which enabled the safe execution of the daring rescue. Capt Atwood truly personified the core values of the Royal Canadian Air Force: professionalism, excellence and teamwork.”

The Royal Canadian Air Force Commander’s Commendation is awarded by the lieutenant-general to recognize deeds or activities beyond the demand of normal duty.

Atwood was a cormorant search and rescue helicopter pilot at 103 Search and Rescue Squadron based at 9 Wing Gander, N.L. at the time of the rescue which he is now being recognized for. He currently lives in Campbell River.