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Colonel (Col) Joe Oldford joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1994 as an Infantry Reservist with the 2nd Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton). In 2002, he transferred to the Regular Force as an Aerospace Control Officer through the Regular Officer Training Program.

Following completion of initial Aerospace Control Officer training, Col Oldford was posted to 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron, 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay, as a Weapons Director and later a Senior Director within the Canadian Air Defence Sector (CADS). In 2010, then Captain Oldford was selected to deploy on Operation ATHENA in Afghanistan with the 1e Battalion, Royale 22e Regiment Battle Group as a member of the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP). Following a challenging and rewarding 9 months, Col Oldford returned to Canada and was posted to the Air-Land Integration Cell as the National TACP Standards Officer within the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre at CFB Kingston, ON.

Following his time with the Canadian Army, Col Oldford was promoted to Major and posted to 5 Wing Goose Bay, NL as the Wing Operations Officer. Then, Col Oldford attended the Joint Command and Staff Programme at the Canadian Forces College and upon graduation, was posted to Ottawa to serve as Executive Assistant to the Chief, Fighter Capability Office at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ).

In November 2018, upon promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel, Col Oldford was selected to deploy on Operation FOUNDATION to the U.S. Air Force Central (AFCENT) 609th Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as the Deputy Director, Combat Operations Division. Following this deployment, Col Oldford was posted back to Ottawa to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Forward Element (Ottawa), a liaison office for NORAD HQ within NDHQ.

In June of 2020 Col Oldford was posted to 22 Wing North Bay to assume command of 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron. Throughout his command he also held the position of Director of Operations of CADS.

In September 2022, upon promotion to his current rank, Col Oldford was posted to the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR) as the 1st Air Force (AFNORTH & AFSPACE) A9 Director at Tyndall AFB. Following six months in position, he was cross posted to the CONR 601st CAOC as the Deputy Commander.

Col Oldford holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of New Brunswick, as well as a Masters of Science (Mathematics) and a Masters of Defense Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.