Highlighting the achievements of both outgoing and incoming 400 Squadron CWOs
On 20 June 2023, Chief Warrant Officer Yvan Côté handed over the responsibilities of the 400 Squadron Chief Warrant Officer to Chief Warrant Officer Janet Ekstrom in a service that was presided over by the 400 Sqn Commanding Officer, LCol Lyle Holbrook. Below are two biographies that highlight the accomplishments of both CWO Côté and CWO Ekstrom as they have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Outgoing Squadron Chief Warrant Officer
CWO Yvan Côté retired six days after this event with just shy of 40 years of service in the CAF. He joined the CAF in 1983 as an Electronic Technician and, after basic training and an English course, completed training to become an Integrated Systems Technician.
Over the course of his career, he has served in Comox, B.C. on the Buffalo and Labrador, Greenwood, N.S. on the Aurora simulator, Challenger and T-Bird, Cold Lake, AB in Labs, Bagotville, QC in Labs and on the CF-188 Hornet, Borden at the Recruit School and 400 Sqn, and Ottawa as the Configuration Manager for the Chinook.
He has served on many exercises and deployments throughout his career, including Operation ECHO in Italy, Op PODIUM in Vancouver, and Op IMPACT in Iraq.
His time in 400 Sqn began in 2008 as a Warrant Officer in the role of Aircraft Maintenance Officer until 2012. In 2014, he returned as a Master Warrant Officer and became the Senior Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent. Releasing from the Regular Forces in 2016, he remained with 400 Sqn as a reservist, as the Deputy Engineering Project Officer.
On 1 August 2020, Chief Warrant Officer Côté was promoted to CWO and appointed as the 400 Sqn Chief Warrant Officer until 20 June 2023.
CWO Côté is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Laurie, their four children Scott, Shyla, Shareen and Sierra, as well as their six grandchildren and relaxing and enjoying life while playing lots of golf.
“I would like to sincerely thank CWO Côté for his tremendous service to the CAF and Canada throughout his career and in particular, his commitment and dedication to 400 Squadron, and wish him all the very best in retirement,” LCol Holbrook, Commanding Officer 400 Sqn.
New Squadron Chief Warrant Officer
CWO Janet Ekstrom, enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996 as an Aviation Systems Technician and following basic training and graduation from the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace and Technology, was posted to 19 Wing Comox, B.C.
During her time there, she worked on the T-Bird and CP-140 Aurora. Posted to Cold Lake AB, in 2003, working on the CF-188 Hornet. CWO Ekstrom has worked at numerous units such as the 416 Tactical Fighter Sqn, 409 TFS, 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Sqn and 10 Fighter Technical Training Sqn gaining valuable experience through numerous international and domestic deployments.
In 2015, she was selected for the coveted position of CF-188 Demo Team Crew Chief (Western North America) in which she managed a crew through an exhaustive pace of air shows within Canada and the United States.
CWO Ekstrom was also selected to become the 410 Sqn Armament Warrant Officer, an honour which she proudly accepted and thoroughly enjoyed. While in Cold Lake, she held various senior positions which included Employment and Training Officer, Deputy Aircraft Production and Support Officer, and Senior Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent.
In 2020, after completing a year-long French course, she was posted to CFSATE as the AERE SWO and Air Maintenance Superintendent Course Director.
Amongst her accomplishments, in 2021, CWO Ekstrom received the prestigious Advanced Leadership Program Innovation Award from the CWO Robert-Osside Profession at Arms Institute.
She was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer in 2022 and proudly assumed the position of CFSATE Chief Warrant Officer. Then on 20 June, 2023 as the 400 Sqn Chief Warrant Officer where she is eagerly looking forward to the experiences 400 Sqn will offer.