Strathcona’s Support the Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas
J. Michael Snell
Colonel (Retired), LdSH(RC)
Executive Director, VIII CDMA
18 Sept 2008
On 2 September 2008, the Mounted Troop provided honours to the Heads of Delegations of the 31 hemispheric partners from Latin America and the Caribbean who attended the Conference of the Defence Ministers of the Americas. The Heads of Delegations included two Prime Ministers, over 20 ministers of defence or national security and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The first Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) was held in 1995. It was created to provide defence ministers with a forum to discuss such things as confidence- and security-building measures, peace support operations, civil-military cooperation, international drug and arms trafficking, terrorism, and transnational organized crime. With the end of the Cold War and the advance of democracy in Latin America, the CDMA has emerged as the premier defence meeting in the hemisphere, with the aim of facilitating debate, analysis and the exchange of views and experiences on contemporary security issues in the Americas. Further information about the CDMA, including a photo gallery featuring the Mounted Troop, is available at www.cdma2008.ca.
Canada hosted the VIII Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas from 2-6 September 2008 in Banff, Alberta. The Conference itself was held at the Banff Springs Hotel. The Mounted Troop, as shown in the photographs, deployed to the hotel and served as the Guard of Honour to greet incoming dignitaries. The backdrop for the Troop was spectacular as they paraded in the North West Mounted Police entrance at the hotel. The Troop was instrumental in providing delegates with a warm welcome to Banff.
While waiting for the delegates, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, had an opportunity to visit with the Troop.
The Mounted Troop were not the only Regimental representatives at the Conference. A number of retired Strathcona’s served as “hosts” for some of the Heads of Delegation. Included in this group were Rick Williams, Bill Logan and Vaughn Guy. As well, the Military Museum from Calgary provided a display on the final day of the Conference. Strathcona memorabilia was front and centre with Sergeant Todd Giberson enthusiastically greeting delegates.
The contribution of Strathcona’s to the VIII CDMA was a credit to the Regiment, the Canadian Forces and Canada. Well done to all. Perseverance.