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2nd SWS celebrates with Canadians

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Members of the 2nd Space Warning Squadron participated in the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Canadian Mess Dinner Nov. 13.

Lt. Gen. Marcel, NORAD deputy commander, hosted approximately 200 Colorado-based Canadians and guests for an evening of fun and camaraderie based on more than two centuries of Canadian military tradition. The 6-member Canadian detachment in 2nd SWS, led by Capt. Maryellen, was allowed to bring two guests each, one more than traditional, so that more Buckley-based non-Canadians could participate in this fun event.

Held in the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs on a snowy Friday night, the evening began with a social hour. Buckley personnel spent this time with Gen. Gene Renuart, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command commander, asking and answering questions about the missile warning mission and how it contributes to NORAD's mission of North American air defense and USNORTHCOM's mission of homeland defense.

After the piper played his bagpipes, giving notice that the formal portion of the evening would begin, dinner was served and followed by a uniquely Canadian tradition: port was passed to each member and a series of toasts commenced. Then, each Canadian military regiment's song was played, while members stood and were recognized for being associated with that regiment. For some of the larger groups, the Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force, people stood on chairs and sang out loud, holding their port, ready for the "hear, hear!"

The evening culminated with a short speech from Col. Chris, the first commander of the Canadian Joint Task Force-Afghanistan Air Wing in Kandahar. He gave an interesting talk about bringing the Canadian Air Force into that fight.

Overall, it was an evening of high, international tradition, time spent with United States and Canadian military leaders and several hours of camaraderie among a group of professionals all postured toward the same goal: defending our homelands.
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