By Nancy Kelly
Evidence of an innapropriate, racially charged video aired at a formal dinner held over two years ago at 14 Wing Greenwood and ordered destroyed has caught Wing administration off guard.
Wing spokesperson Captain John Pulchny reported Greenwood’s top brass had no idea about the video until they were contacted by CBC News about its existence recently.
“The public affairs office and Wing Commander’s office didn’t have a clue about this,” acknowledged Pulchny on Nov. 8.
The video, which features an unidentified 14 Wing military member wearing brown makeup and a turban, pretending to be Osama bin Laden’s brother, was aired at the annual mess dinner of 14 Wing’s Air Maintenance Squadron in January 2010.
“It was supposed to be a spoof,” said Pulchny.
He stated Lt. Col. Flynn, then the Commanding Officer of the squadron, deemed it inappropriate at the time and ordered all copies and computer hard drives containing the material to be destroyed. Flynn, who has since been posted away from Greenwood, did not inform the Wing Commanders Office. Some of those involved in the incident are still posted to the Greenwood base.
“The squadron dealt with it internally, but now it’s out there.” Pulchny said.
Despite the order to destroy the video, a copy was recently leaked to CBC, prompting the military’s National Investigative Service (NIS) to get involved.
Lt.-Gen. Yvan Blondin, Head of the Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed he requested an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video, but has not offered comment on the video itself.
14 Wing’s Commanding Officer Col. Jim Irvine was not available for comment but Pulchny said the base commander was aware of the situation but would not be issuing a comment while the NIS investigation is underway.