As officer commanding Engineer Support Squadron in Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Major Blanchette ensured the provision of first-rate engineering support to Task Force Kandahar. Operating during a period of unprecedented expansion and transition, he contributed to the construction of over 30 tactical infrastructure installations, including Route Hyena, a critical road in the Horn of Panjwayi. Major Blanchette's acute resource management and outstanding performance contributed directly to operational success and ensured an efficient handover to our allies.
Lieutenant-Colonel Kirk Douglas Bland, M.S.M., C.D. Halifax, Nova Scotia
Lieutenant-Colonel Bland was deployed to Naples, Italy, from April to June 2011, as part of Canada's contribution to the NATO mission to protect the people of Libya. His leadership and unwavering dedication enabled the establishment of the Canadian National Intelligence Centre and its ongoing success. He forged a highly effective team of civilian and military experts that rapidly and consistently provided meaningful, accurate and actionable intelligence to the Commander. Lieutenant-Colonel Bland's efforts contributed directly to operational success, and brought great credit to Canada.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sebastien Bouchard, M.S.M., C.D. Quebec, Quebec
As commanding officer of the National Support Element of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Bouchard distinguished himself by his leadership and dedication. Through his continued efforts, both at the forefront and behind the scenes, and through his determination, he shrewdly led his team, identified and implemented solutions, and provided ongoing support to the Canadian Forces. Lieutenant-Colonel Bouchard's performance in a dynamic theatre of operations was key to the Element's operational success.
Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Douglas Claggett, M.S.M., C.D. Calgary, Alberta
As chief of staff of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from September 2010 to 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Claggett was instrumental to the capability of the Task Force Headquarters. Supporting operations in Afghanistan's demanding counter-insurgency environment, he fully understood and implemented the commander's intent while ensuring synchronization with our allies. Lieutenant-Colonel Claggett's skills as a leader, planner and diplomat were critical to the operational success of the mission.
Lieutenant-Commander Matthew David Coates, M.S.M., C.D. Calgary, Alberta and Kingston, Ontario
As executive officer of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Charlottetown from March to August 2011, Lieutenant-Commander Coates was vital to Canada's notable contribution to NATO operations in Libya. His leadership and in-depth knowledge of their capabilities significantly expedited deployment preparations and kept the crew focused as the mission evolved. During several engagements involving shore weapons and attack boats, his composure instilled confidence throughout the ship's company. Lieutenant-Commander Coates' efforts were critical to operational success.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D. Weston, Ontario
Lieutenant-Colonel Cochrane served as commanding officer of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing Theatre Support Element at Camp Mirage, from June to December 2009. His leadership was critical to maintaining airlift support for operations in Afghanistan and his diplomatic skills enabled him to establish relationships with the host nation that benefitted Canadian and coalition operations, both at Camp Mirage and in Afghanistan. Lieutenant-Colonel Cochrane's exemplary dedication, tact and operational focus contributed to the success of the Afghan mission, and enhanced Canada's international reputation.
Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D. Weston, Ontario