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Environment within the Airfield Compound

Heroes Remember

Environment within the Airfield Compound

One of my things that I would do every Sunday morning is I would walk around the airfield and it was like a seven-mile walk. And it was so filled all of your senses from the smells and the dust and you'd walk by these different compounds. The compounds were maybe the Australians would have their compound and it would have their flag flying and just things from home, from their home that would make it obviously their space. Folks driving by, the Afghans walking often with no footwear but they were workers on the base let's say and it was such a vibrant community and yet so dusty and so smelly but you just, it was like a city in effect because when I left there were 14,000 people there. But once again, the contractors would be in a compound in these double high trailers and then you know the American space and the Brit space and the Canadian space and all of these. It was just carved up into these little communities and some of them you couldn't go into but folks were always coming and going in vehicles and dust and once again just the smell. We had what we called a “poo pond” and if I close my eyes I can still smell that poo pond. It was... lots of activity, like just people, always people moving somewhere like big vehicles, big operational vehicles moving out of the gate, people in small vehicles, people walking with weapons, people just like you could not, there was just something happening all the time. And this constant flurry of aircraft landing and taking off.

While walking the perimeter of the airfield compound, Ms. MacDonald provides a description of the sights and smells and constant flurry of activity from the locals as well as the military personnel from all nationalities.

Jo-Anne MacDonald

Ms. Jo-Anne MacDonald was born in 1960 in Ajax, Ontario. At the age of 18 Ms. MacDonald chose to join the Canadian Forces. Having graduated from high school, Ms. MacDonald realized her passion for sports, adventure and hopes of securing employment, a military career would be the right path for a successful future. In 1979, Ms. MacDonald enrolled in a Regular Officer Training program and accepted her first posting to Comox, British Columbia where she remained for four years and during this time met her husband who was also in the military at the time.. A time when women were unable to attend military college, Ms. MacDonald did her undergraduate degree at a civilian university, spending her summer months in Chiliwack, British Columbia doing basic officer training as well as speciality training in the logistics program and accepted her occupation as a Logistics Finance Officer. Although she considered her process a very traditional career path within this field, Ms. MacDonald was provided many positive and life changing experiences. Ms.. MacDonald eventually accepted a four year posting to Trenton, Ontario reuniting with her husband and being what she considers the best four years of her career. She was part of Wing Controller 8 Wing Trenton and held rank of Major. During this time Ms. MacDonald accepted her first deployment to Nairobi, Africa as part of a recce team. As her career continued, Ms. MacDonald also deployed to Afghanistan holding rank of Colonel (CJ8) under a Multinational NATO led Headquarters unit as financial technical expert. After 31 years of service, Ms. MacDonald retired from the military and continues to work in her field of expertise.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 22, 2013
Person Interviewed:
Jo-Anne MacDonald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Air Force

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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