Colonel Lloyd Skaalen CD, Director, Canadian Forces Staff College

Our 1972 Speaker was Colonel Lloyd Skaalen CD, Dir. CF Staff College.   (Later Brigadier General)

Skaalen’s background includes 45 years in aviation: 35 years with the Canadian Air Force, seven years as an air transport commander as well as some time in the early ’50s as a NATO fighter pilot and he retired as a Brigadier General.

Lloyd Skaalen was born in Tofield, Alberta of Norwegian descent, his father, at age 5, having emigrated to Manola, AB in 1905 and then at age 28, had become Searle Grain manager in Kingman, AB.

At the age of 12, Lloyd had become aviation oriented by overflying military aircraft above Kingman on their way to Edmonton and delivery to various World War allies. So when the family moved to Edmonton in 1942, he spent his spare time from studies to become active in Air Cadets, build models and in '46 begin his flying career as a private pilot of small aircraft such as the Aeronca Champion.

Lloyd graduated from University High School in Edmonton in June of '48 and made application to join the RCAF in their new program to rebuild Canada's capability to meet the Cold War challenges. He saw that five year short service commission as his ticket for a future as a professional pilot.  
Lloyd joined the Air Force 1948 and in early 1949 he was selected for Pilot training. In 1950 he joined 421 squadron and trained on Vampires, an early jet fighter and logged about 278 hrs in it. In 1951, the squadron was sent to England for 9 months with the RAF training in air defence vs. enemy fighters and bombers and then back to Montreal where he received instruction on F-86 which included gunnery instruction course at Las Vegas by USAF pilots, some who had been to the Korean War. Lloyd was promoted to Flight Lieutenant during that course.

In 1952, the squadron flew their aircraft along with two other squadrons to Grostenquin, France for the Canadian Air Division which was part of the NATO preparations against the Russian threat. After flying Sabres in France, Lloyd and family in August 1955 returned to Montreal where he was a Flight Commander in the “Overseas Ferry Unit”, flying Sabres to Europe and coordinating the move of CF 100 aircraft from Canada to Europe.

In 1958, after two years of being Executive Assistant to Commander Transport Command, he became a transport pilot at Trenton, flying DC- 4, “North Stars” and “Yukons. During his time in 426 & 437 Squadrons, he flew in the Arctic, Congo, Nigeria, Singapore and points in between.
In 1964 he attended the RCAF Staff College, Toronto; and in 1965 was posted from there to be a staff officer in the USAF Military Airlift Command. During that year he was promoted to Wing Commander (LCol).

1966 Lloyd started work at the Canadian Defense Liaison Staff in Washington, DC. His title was Senior Air Staff Officer during which time he frequently flew the VIP DC3 Dakota on visits to US and Canadian destinations for the Ambassador and senior staff members.

In 1969 he was posted back to the new Canadian Forces Staff College to be an instructor of all service members at the rank of Major or above in the subjects pertinent to geopolitical and senior management of the Canadian Armed Forces. While there in was promoted to Group Captain (Colonel) and spent two years as the Director of Studies.

In July 1972 he became Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Summerside, PEI, where he had the pleasure of welcoming the Queen and Prince Philip during their visit to the Island's Centennial in 1974.

Then in 1975 he became the Director Maritime Aviation in NDHQ. And from July 1976 to August 1977 he was Director of Arms Control Policy at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, until promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

From 1977 to 79, he was deputy Commander of 21st NORAD Head Quarters at Syracuse, NY.

From August '79 to July '82, he was Commander of Canadian Air Transport Group at Trenton Ontario and keeping his flight status as a co-pilot on C130 Hercules aircraft.  

From 1982 – until retirement in '83, he returned to National Defence HQ as Director General of Current Policy and Arms Control negotiation during the Trudeau & Clark governments.

35 formative and interesting years!!

Lloyd still has relatives in Oslo and other places in Norway. And, having married in 1953 while serving in Grostenquin, France, he has two daughters who were born there and one other daughter born in Montreal. All offspring now mothers of a total of 6 grandchildren.