It was a typical morning at CFB Comox. The cloud ceiling had a ragged base at 500 feet. Strong southeasterly winds were blowing rainsqualls across the tarmac. The 25-knot windsock at midfield stood like a soldier saluting. SAR techs, flight engineers, pilots and navigators gathered in the 442 Sqn flight planning area. The Met Tech gave the assembled personnel a picture of the day’s expected weather and the forecast for the next three days. Probability of SAR launch - “high.”
IMP Aerospace Group crews were to have a Cormorant towed out and readied for some training.Wait a minute - IMP crew? What happened to the servicing warrant officer from the Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering staff (SAMEO), ordering the tow crew from his CF personnel establishment?
Canadian Forces has entered an entirely new and uncharted era of both daily and major maintenance and repair. The Cormorant will have complete 24/7 servicing and maintenance provided by IMP as part of the new contractual arrangements between IMP and DND. This is a literal replication of the civilian Aircraft Maintenance Organization that must meet the rigorous standards described in the CARs. But in this case the overriding authority is the DTA or Directorate of Technical Airworthiness. IMP has established an accredited level of service and quality control that will meet or exceed the ISO 9000 requirements. IMP will train the technical staff and handle program management. This will include firstand second-line maintenance requirements. Under the direction of Andy Giblin (LCol ret’d), who is the IMP equivalent of SAMEO, IMP must meet ‘levels of serviceability’ that have been established under the contract. Giblin has been the principal officer in charge of this integration program at Comox. The procedures established here set the standard upon which all other units will be based. IMP has exceeded the levels of serviceability required.