Canadian Liaison Officer Departs Picatinny After Productive Tour Helping Warfighters
September 25, 2007
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Canadian Maj. Allan Finney, Canadian liaison officer to the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, was awarded a commendation from the Canadian Land Forces Commander for his outstanding work in support of the Canadian acquisition of the M777 howitzer during a ceremony recently that was a culmination of Finney's four years at Picatinny.
Through his efforts the Canadian Armed Forces were able to rapidly purchase, train and deploy the M777 howitzer into Afghanistan to become the first user of the weapon system in combat. The M777 howitzer was received by the Warfighters with rave reviews praising its mobility and accuracy.
The Canadian Land Forces Command Commendation was presented by Canadian Lt. Col. Larry Zaporzan, the assistant Canadian Forces military attachAfA from the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and former squadron commander of Finney's. Finney also received plaques from ARDEC presented by Dr. Joseph Lannon, ARDEC director, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition James Sutton, deputy PEO, as well as James Shields from the Joint Light Weight Howitzer Program Office.
All presenters praised Finney's venerable dedication to the Warfighters - both Canadian and American - explaining that he demonstrated a deep commitment to both countries because he did not show any difference in providing support, advice or material to either nation's Warfighters as they were on the front lines working together on behalf of their grateful nations for the cause of freedom.
Also in attendance were Finney's wife, Nicola, and daughter and son, Lara and Christopher. Finney's Picatinny tour was unusual for a liaison officer. Not only did he conduct his normal duties of monitoring programs at AREDC, within the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command's PEO Ammo or the various program and project managers' offices on post, but he also volunteered to go to Iraq in 2005 with Col. Peter Janker, former Armament Engineering Technology Center commander, and a team that deployed to Camp Bucca to examine non-lethal requirements.
Finney was instrumental in developing the operational need statement, refining the requirements, and producing the first prototype of the Rapid Entry Vehicle based on an M113 chassis.
After returning to Iraq with the prototype and training the initial users in Camp Bucca, Finney coordinated with the user to determine the necessary modifications which were implemented in the REV II, a Picatinny product that won recognition as one of the Top 10 Army Inventions for 2006.
Additionally, Finney worked very closely with Warfighter Central sharing information on various equipment in use in both Canada and the United States and has helped lead to Canada's purchase of the Picatinny Blast Shield, which will be mounted on the Canadian Coyote Vehicle and LAV III.
Most recently Finney helped with the transfer of three Canadian C7A2 rifles - similar to the M16 - for evaluation by ARDEC subject matter experts. Upon Finney's departure, he returns to Canada, where he will serve as an instructor at the Canadian Army Tactics School at the Combat Training Center Gagetown, in New Brunswick.
In September, Canadian Maj. Burry Vanderveer, Finny's successor, is no stranger to Picatinny having spent seven years here as the liaison officer prior to Finney's arrival.