Many people don’t know what Canada Command is or what it does.

But in a crisis — be it a natural disaster or a need for security at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver or the G8 summit — when it really counts, the Canadian Forces organization is there.

The organization — which monitors developments across Canada and assists the RCMP, Canadian Forces and search and rescue responders in times of need — often works behind the scenes, said Canada Command Lieut. Noel Paine.

“It works with others in the Canadian government to look after the safety of Canadians,” said Paine.

“We ensure Canadians are safe and secure, but we’re behind the scenes.”

So it may not get out there that Canada Command got a new commander yesterday.

Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson replaced Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden as commander of Canada Command in a change of command ceremony held in Ottawa.

Canada Command has lead responsibility for routine and contingency Canadian Forces operations in Canada and continental North America. Everyday, thousands of sailors, soldiers, and air force personnel stand ready to assist Canadians in need and to help its neighbours to the south, the organization said.
“It’s a huge responsibility,” said Paine.

McFadden, who will assume the duties of chief of the Maritime staff later this summer, said members of Canada Command often don’t realize their impact.

“It’s a commander’s job to point that out and sing their praises,” he said. “The members of Canada Command make the lives of Canadians safer.”

Donaldson said he was confident that Canadian Forces is ready to protect the safety of Canadians whenever they are needed.

“We’re very much an insurance policy,” said Lt.-Cmdr Diane Grover. “We’re always there, ready to protect and defend.”

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