Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Major Rhonda Stevens, originally from North Harbour in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.
Rhonda has been appointed Officer-in-Chief of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax. Rhonda's interest in search and rescue was piqued at a young age. Her father spent 25 years with the Canadian Coast Guard. His team responded to many distress calls, including the Ocean Ranger tragedy, which occurred on February 15, 1982, and saw 84 lives lost.
After spending time as an air cadet in Clarenville, Rhonda left home at age 17 to attend the Royal Military College, where she honed her skills as a flight navigator. She has logged more than 3,000 hours of flying time, both as a pilot and a navigator.
Her 21 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, 15 of them with search and rescue, have ensured that Rhonda is well prepared to take on this new challenge.
Rhonda's parents, Art and Una Eddy, are understandably proud of her accomplishments. I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating Major Rhonda Stevens and wishing her all the best in this new position.