Elected Senator for Alberta Doug Black was in Cold Lake a few days ago to visit military personnel as 4 Wing Cold Lake hosted Operation MAPLE FLAG.
“I’ve not been back to Cold Lake/Bonnyville in two or three years – maybe even a bit longer,” says Black. “So i was anxious to get back to that region of Alberta and I was anxious to spend some time with the military folks and what they’re doing for us, and what I can do for them.”
Black says he asked questions regarding the resources the military has and that there were some frank discussions around that. “I want to make sure that I’m a strong advocate for what they’re doing… so that’s why I wanted to be briefed, to learn, to meet some of the folks there – not only the leadership but the men and the women who were serving and supporting – so I can understand the issues so I can be helpful.”
Black got to join in on one of the operations being conducted on the base. He went up in a Griffon helicopter as soldiers conducted a training exercise to recover a comrade trapped behind enemy lines. He was pleased to report the operation was a success.
The senator also got to take control of an aircraft himself… well virtually anyhow.
“I went on a flight simulator and unfortunately that didn’t end up so well. I’m dead.
“I got a little too cocky I’m afraid to say and I got in a couple firefights, then I got in a firefight that I lost. Then I was supposed to eject but I couldn’t find the button and it didn’t end happily.”
Black spent two days on the base before heading back to Ottawa. He was hoping to spend more time in Cold lake itself and Bonnyville, so he says he’ll have to come back again.