Unit CO’s Letter
809 Newark Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron
27 September 2020
It’s been a bit of a rocky start with COVID-19, but we’ve gone through all of our procedures, have set up a plan and have submitted it for approval. Once we hear back, we’ll be able to start our training year. We don’t have an exact start date yet, but it’s important that we get everything set up now so that we can hit the ground running when we get the go-ahead.
There are a few shuffles in the staff and senior cadet roles this year. We still have the same officers and volunteers as last year, but they’ll be filling different spots:
- Commanding Officer (CO) – Captain (Capt) Jody Lemoine (Unchanged)
- Deputy Commanding Officer (DCO) – Officer Cadet (OCdt) Dan Couroux
- Training Officer (TrgO) – Second Lieutenant (2Lt) Ruxandra Nicolescu
- Administration Officer (AdminO) – Lieutenant (Lt) Matt Russell, CD
- Supply Officer (SupO) – Civilian Volunteer (CV) Joachim Dau (Unchanged)
- Liaison Officer – Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Meliah Brauweiler
- Cadet Squadron Commander – Flight Sergeant (FSgt) Spencer Abt
- Deputy Cadet Squadron Commander – Flight Sergeant (FSgt) Dante Bell
- Training Warrant Officer – Warrant Officer First Class (WO1) Ethan Lett
Obviously, we’re not out of the woods with respect to the pandemic, so we’ll be operating the program a bit differently this year. We’re not going to be doing everything in-person like we were before things changed and we’re going to be operating under strict health safety control measures, but we’re going to ensure that all there’s still a lot of engaging stuff going on in-person.
This means that there will be a significant virtual component to our training this year. We understand that this is not ideal for many of us, but we’re going to make it as comfortable as possible. We’re also going to try to de-emphasize the more academic bits of our program when we’re conducting in-person activities.
With that in mind, I understand that there are some cadets who don’t have the necessary resources to participate in the virtual components of our training. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if this is the case. We can find a way to make this work and will do what is necessary to get them participating fully.
To make this process easier for all involved, we have built our on-line infrastructure around Google’s G Suite. This gives us a number of resources, not exhaustively:
- Google Mail: The staff and sponsorship committee already use this routinely, but we’ll be extending this to each cadet for use with squadron training.
- Google Calendar: This already runs our events page on the web site, but will be used for cadet activity scheduling as we move forward.
- Google Classroom: This provides a central tracker for our training and was successfully tested in May with our Level 3 and Level 4 aviation subjects review and assessments.
- Google Meet: Simple visual presentation system for on-line training, parent briefings, staff meetings, &c.
This means that each cadet will be assigned an 809cadets.ca email address for use with squadron training. This will need to be used to connect to all virtual resources and your cadets will be expected to check it regularly. Email to and from this address is restricted to a very short list of domains, so we can ensure that interactions in this medium are controlled. We will still be posting events to the web site, for parents and guardians to track as well.
We have our first virtual instructors meeting this Monday evening with our instructors to ensure they understand the new process and will be following up with a parent meeting next week to keep everyone in the loop.
I’ll also be reaching out to all of the families individually by email and phone to make sure everyone has everything we need for a seamless start once we get the go-ahead.
Please continue below for a message from the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central) Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Barry Leonard, CD. In this, he outlines some of the processes we will be following for COVID-19 prevention when we return to in-person training at the squadron.
809 Newark RCACS
Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central)
17 September 2020
To Cadets, Parents and Guardians, and Staff,
The safety and security of all who participate in the Cadet Program is always one of our top priorities. It is assumed that the COVID-19 pandemic could last 18 months or longer. This virus will likely return in multiple waves and continue to pose a threat to the Canadian Public. A return to normalcy is not forecasted any time soon, and we need to prepare for a new normal.
With the possible start-up of limited in-person cadet activities in October 2020, Cadet Corps and Squadrons may start conducting authorized day activities. This means that following approval from the Regional Cadet Support Unit Commanding Officer, they have followed a checklist to ensure that they are able to follow regional public health recommendations and direction. Specific guidelines and amplifying direction will be released shortly to corps/squadron staff.
It is important to note that COATS members, Civilian Instructors, volunteer and/or cadets will be required to answer the typical COVID-19 medical screening questionnaire, and sign a register to declare they have none of the symptoms outlined in the screening questionnaire for every Canadian Cadet Organizations (CCO) activity during the 2020-2021 training year.
Any adult or cadet who is ill, or becomes ill, or has been tested for COVID-19 must not participate in CCO activities until they are well or cleared to do so. This means that anyone participating in our programs should stay home if they are not well or are awaiting test results. In the event that any staff or cadet becomes ill during an activity, that individual will be sent home immediately.
We understand that there may be concerns for some adults and cadets who would be considered a higher risk as a result of a known weakened immune system. This can be the result of a number of factors such as prescribed medication, and existing medical conditions. Individuals who may identify as being at risk or are concerned, are encouraged to be speaking to their family physician to ensure that they are safe to return to regular cadet activities. The adult member or parent/guardian should then provide a note from their family physician detailing their ability to safely return to activities without any information containing personal medical conditions. A copy of this note should be retained by the Commanding Officer (CO) of the corps or squadron.
If at any point during the cadet training year you have questions regarding the precautions and procedures put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of participants please contact your corps/squadron. If a member (adult or cadet) in our Program has been tested for COVID-19, they are to contact their corps/squadron Commanding Officer immediately. The corps/squadron CO’s mission is to ensure that we can deliver the Cadet Program while maintaining safety for all. You can also contact Regional Medical Liaison Officers at 1-877-381-6857.
Thank you in advance for your understanding,
Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central)