There is a new face in charge of Canada’s largest airbase and it’s a familiar one.
On Friday, 8-Wing CFB Trenton welcomed it’s newest commander Col. Mark Goulden during a change of command ceremony. A native of Trenton, Col. Goulden officially took the wing from his comrade and friend outgoing commander Colin Keiver.
Col. Goulden has spent much of his career at 8-Wing Trenton. He said it’s an honour and a privilege to follow in Keiver’s footsteps and continue his great work.
Col. Goulden added maintaining a strong relationship with the community is equally important. He noted he looks forward to hosting another Quinte International Air Show.
A graduate of Trenton High School, Col. Goulden said it is a ‘thrill’ to be back in his hometown with his wife Deborah and sons Max and Sam. Col. Goulden has held positions at Canada Command, the Directorate of Aerospace Requirements and the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre. His career first began at 8-Wing in 1994 when he was posted to 436 Squadron as a line pilot on the CC-130 Hercules supporting international operations in the former Yugoslavia, Central Africa, Honduras and East Timor. Next he instructed at the Tactical Training Flight at 426 Squadron before returning to 436 Squadron as the Deputy Commanding Officer in 2006 and Commanding Officer from 2012-2014.
Col. Goulden said he and Keiver met during pilot training in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan and as young lieutenant learned how to fly the c-130 Hercules at 8-Wing Trenton together in 1995. He then followed him through to his command at 436 Squadron.
“It’s an honour for me to take over from a friend,” Commander Goulden admitted.
“There is no better person I could hand this over to,” said Keiver addressing Col. Goulden. “The reality is as you get into command and you invest yourself completely it becomes very much like your child. It’s incredibly difficult to give up. Mark made it easy because I trust him, I respect him, he and I think alike on so many things, he is the best guy for the job.”
Keiver will now be appointed to Director of the Defence Program at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.
Looking out at the men and women he has led for two years, Keiver admitted he had 100 emotions running through him as he praised them for holding true to the traditions the Royal Canadian Air Force is known for and prides itself in.
“You truly stand on the shoulders of giants,” said Keiver. “Those have that gone before us would be so proud of you as am I. You make it happen. You do so in a way that is humble and incredible professional. I am so proud of you. I will watch everyday for the next accomplishment and I know there will be many.”
He thanked his ‘partners in crime’ – retired 8 Wing Chief Warrant Officer Darcy Elder and Honourary Col. John Williams. He thanked Major-General Christian Drouin for his leadership, membership and friendship. He expressed gratitude to his wife Jennifer and children for their support over the past two years.
“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity, thanks for being patient with me and I wish you all the finest traditions of the air force – fair skies and tailwinds,” expressed Keiver.