The commander of 8 Wing and Canadian Forces Base Trenton has been temporarily removed from his role after being charged by the OPP with firearm-related offences.
Col. Leif Dahl was arrested following an Aug. 25 incident on the Murray Canal in Quinte West, Ont., where provincial police say they received a report of a gun being fired at "protected wildlife" from aboard a boat.
Police said during their investigation they learned a firearm had been thrown into the water. A gun was later located by the OPP's underwater search and recovery unit.
Dahl, a 45-year-old from Belleville, Ont., is charged with obstructing a peace officer, careless use of a firearm, using a firearm carelessly to hunt, hunting a bird without a licence and unlawfully having a loaded firearm in a conveyance, according to police.
Then, on Aug. 28, police searched a home in Belleville and OPP divers returned to the canal where they found a second firearm in the water.
Following those searches, OPP announced Thursday they were adding three more charges for Dahl — possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, careless storage of a firearm and breaching firearms regulations by transporting a firearm or restricted weapon.
Few details on firearms, wildlife
A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence (DND) directed a question about whether any military equipment was involved in the incident to OPP, which declined to provide any specifics about the firearm.
Police also would not say what wildlife was targeted.
"It certainly is in an interesting occurrence. Right from the get go," said Acting Staff Sgt. Aaron Miller with the OPP.
He would not comment on Dahl's role with the military or his experience with firearms, though Miller did say gun laws and the safety training that come with them exist to keep people safe.
"Anytime we see the discharge of a firearm, whether it be from a vehicle or a boat, we would encourage everybody to call the OPP and report it accordingly," he added.
DND did confirm by email that the Royal Canadian Air Force was aware of a "hunting-related incident" on Aug. 25 involving Col. Dahl.
Major-General calls this a 'difficult time'
In a separate statement shared Wednesday afternoon, Major-General Iain Huddleston, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, said Dahl was on leave at the time.
"While the legal process runs it course in the civilian court system, I have decided to temporarily remove Col. Dahl from command pending the outcome of the investigative process and court proceedings," Huddleston wrote.
Lieutenant-Colonel Matt Lederle has been appointed Acting Wing Commander of 8 Wing and CFB Trenton in the meantime, Huddleston wrote.
"It is my responsibility to ensure that the members of 8 Wing have full confidence in their leadership and chain-of-command," Huddleston added, writing Lt.-Col. Lederle is the right officer to "provide continuity, stability and thoughtful leadership to the Royal Canadian Air Force's busiest Wing at this difficult time."
Miller said the investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information about the situation or has video of it to contact investigators.
Dahl has more than 25 years of military experience and has been in command of the base since July 29, 2022, according to his profile on the government's website.
He's set to appear in court in Belleville on Sept. 28.