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  • Writer's pictureMartin Zeilig

Major David Brookes

Major David Brookes knows what it takes to be an effective bioscience officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Photo credit: Martin Zeilig, Voxair Photojournalist

Just ask him.

Maj Brookes is the new Project Director of Local Biological Defence System Coordinator Medical Countermeasures, Science & Technology Canadian Armed Forces.

His former position was as the Aeromedical Flight Commander at the Canadian Forces School for Survival and Aeromedical Training (CFSSAT).

“As a bioscience officer today, if you have the ability and desire to learn, you’ll always be effective at the positions you’re put into,” Maj Brookes said during an interview with The Voxair on October 26.

“You’ll be able to take the information from previous jobs and apply the skill sets to a new and novel situation.”

The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Strategy of the Government of Canada defines CBRN as weaponized or non-weaponized chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials that can cause significant harm, says the Government of Canada website.

“DND is responsible for supporting domestic operations with CBRN military expertise, intelligence and scientific support,” says the online information.

“The CF are responsible for the military defence of Canada, providing operational support to a CBRN response, supporting international counter-proliferation efforts, producing CBRN-related intelligence, and providing forces and assets to support the war on terrorism. Within the Defence portfolio, DRDC provides CBRN research and development response support, and coordinates the Government of Canada’s CBRN Research and Development/Science and Technology efforts.”

Maj Brooks was first notified that he was appointed to the position in early June of this year.

“After everything was worked out, I started the job on October 17,” he said.

Although the CBRN unit is located in Ottawa, Maj Brookes is working remotely for the time being.

“Mostly because people in the Carleton Campus in Ottawa are working remotely too,” he said.

“I also didn’t want to take my children out of school and my spouse is currently recovering from surgery,” Maj Brookes offered, his wife, Lee-Ann Brookes, is a fitness/sports instructor with PSP in Building 90.

A native of Milton, Ontario, which is part of the Greater Toronto Area, Maj Brookes has been in the CAF for 23 years, which includes time as a Reservist.

He attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

“I studied applied bio-molecular science,” Maj Brookes said.

“Now, it’s part of the Life Sciences program. I was attracted to Lakehead because it was a small school. I had access to the professors, and access to research. In my second year, I was doing paleo DNA research work.”

He completed a Master’s Degree in Microbiology at the school.

“In this new job, I’m responsible for being the project director for the sensor sweep program to detect biological agents in a standoff role-- at a time when we know it can trigger a basic alarm and everyone can go into a mop up,” Maj Brookes said.

“A lot of it will be a desk job. I’ll be going to meetings on behalf of the section or the CBRN Defence Directorate to NATO to find out what our allies are doing so that we’re able to collaborate effectively.”

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