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News | July 7, 2010

Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw assumes command of Canada Command

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

OTTAWA, Canada - Canada Command, the organization responsible for Canadian Forces operations in Canada and throughout continental North America, has a new commander today. Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw assumed command from Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson during a brief ceremony in downtown Ottawa. Vice-Admiral Donaldson will assume new duties as the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff.

"The men and women of the Canadian Forces can be proud of their accomplishments in providing security here at home over the past year. The command structure of Canada Command enabled the success of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and the G-8 and G-20 Summits at the same time as other operations were being carried out,” said Chief of the Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk, who presided over the formal military ceremony. “I have complete confidence that Canada Command will continue to build upon its successes as it continues to play an essential role in providing security for Canada and Canadians."

“Canadians can be proud of the highly professional men and women of the Canadian Forces who stand on guard for them, watching over Canada and its approaches around the clock,” said outgoing Commander of Canada Command Vice-Admiral Donaldson. “It has been an honour and a privilege to be a steward of this organization during a remarkable year during which we saw the largest series of domestic operations in Canadian history.”

Lieutenant-General Semianiw also had high praise for members of Canada Command. "I feel privileged to be your Commander," he said. "You have distinguished yourselves in front of the world by the way you have superbly planned and executed the Canadian Forces' participation in the security of the Olympics and the G-8 and G-20 Summits. And, you continue to demonstrate the very best the Canadian Forces have to offer in the conduct of daily operations, monitoring the coasts of this vast country, patrolling the North, and conducting Search and Rescue in the most challenging of conditions to help keep Canada and Canadians secure."

Canada Command is responsible for Canadian Forces routine and contingency operations in Canada and North America. Its roles include sovereignty patrols, air and maritime search and rescue, civil and humanitarian aid (disaster relief), support to law enforcement agencies and support to major public events. Canada Command is supported by regional commands located across the country and continuously monitors developments across North America and its maritime approaches, tracking everything from threatening natural phenomena such as hurricanes and floods, to security threats such as drug smuggling and terrorism.