Sgt Amanda Pond: Air Force meteorologist finds her sea legs

Navy News / December 8, 2020

Sergeant (Sgt) Amanda Pond, from Thunder Bay, Ont., joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a meteorologist. And due to the uniqueness and versatility of her trade she finds herself working alongside sailors and serving as the Senior Meteorological Forecaster onboard HMCS Winnipeg.

“I have sailed on five warships and deployed on four different naval missions, including a humanitarian disaster relief mission in New Zealand. I have travelled to 15 countries so far,” she says.

As a meteorological expert onboard a ship she provides essential information for the safety of the crew, ship manoeuvers and mission success. Some of her daily tasks include observing and recording surface, marine and upper air weather conditions, analyzing and interpreting meteorological information, operating and maintaining specialized meteorological equipment, and forecasting weather conditions.

Her main function is to brief the ships command team and crew on “upcoming weather events that could change ship evolutions.” She also provides support to the helicopter crew onboard the ship regarding “weather factors that could influence their flying schedule for the day.”

As is only natural when faced with change, Sgt Pond found the transition to the Navy environment a bit challenging.

“I came to the ships with an Army (and) Air Force background. I had a difficult time learning the ship’s routine and skills required to stand duty watches alongside.”

However with a bit of hard work and determination she was successful “at obtaining the qualifications by arriving on the ship early every morning.”

“I would make sure I was ready for the timing and react by going to the hangar to assist with personnel accountability. It was the best way to see the overall picture of emergency stations alongside. I ended up taking over the position so often that training staff thought I was always on duty watch!“

A highly memorable moment for Sgt Pond during her time with the Navy is participating in Exercise RIM of the PACIFIC (RIMPAC) and being awarded the gold medal (coin) from the Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet onboard the United States Ship Nimitz for her excellent work.

“Every country nominated one person who represented outstanding achievements during the exercise. I was the only female out of 26 countries to receive the award.”

Sgt Pond is not only a weather guru, a volunteer, and an experienced sailor, but also an avid equestrian. While on tour in Afghanistan in 2011 she purchased a beautiful Paint breed horse back home. Callie, the horse, now 21 years young and still full of energy, sports one blue eye and one brown and has provided Sgt Pond a unique escape and special support over the years.

“She has given me more confidence and helped me through all the rough times in my career. In the past I have volunteered with helping children with disabilities learn to ride and care for horses.”