For the past decade, parliamentarians have annually joined to show their appreciation and support of Royal Canadian Armed Forces (RCAF) members. This year’s tenth annual “Air Force Day on the Hill,” took place on April 12. A special statement was issued by the Minister of National Defence on this occasion.
“As Minister of National Defence, and as a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I am deeply grateful to our airwomen and airmen – and their families – for their invaluable contributions, perseverance, and sacrifice. They are most deserving of this special recognition,” said Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan in a statement.
Organized by the Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA), the event gives both parliamentarians and RCAF members a unique opportunity to share and connect. Parliamentarians are able to publicly recognize RCAF personnel on behalf of Canadians.
“The RCAF is a remarkable team of highly capable professionals. More than 15 000 members of the air force, supported by 2000 civilian personnel, are united in their commitment to defend Canadian sovereignty, interests, and values at home and around the world,” stated Sajjan.
It also gives airmen and airwomen a chance to give parliamentarians a glimpse of what life’s like in the RCAF while contributing to missions both at home and abroad.
“At home, the RCAF protects Canada by monitoring our airspace, maintaining a presence in the North and in remote locations, conducting surveillance along our three-ocean coastline and over our vast waters, protecting our resources, and fulfilling its search and rescue mandate. In collaboration with the U.S., the RCAF plays a valuable role in safeguarding North America through NORAD.
“Internationally, the RCAF, along with the entire Canadian Armed Forces, work closely with our Allies to contribute to global peace and security. Repeatedly, the RCAF has demonstrated its ability to deploy rapidly, providing flexible and robust air power. The RCAF also provides airlift capabilities that enable the Canadian Armed Forces to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, projecting the compassionate strength of our nation,” added Sajjan in his statement.
Sajjan also noted that this year’s event is especially notable with the multiple anniversaries the RCAF is celebrating.
“This year’s celebration is especially meaningful as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Canada’s 400-series squadrons, which came into being as a result of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (1939-1945). These squadrons, which make up the fabric of the modern RCAF, continue to serve Canada and Canadians to this day. This training program, one of the largest ever conducted, trained thousands of Canadian and Allied aircrew and placed Canada in a leadership role on the international stage. This legacy continues today,” mentioned Sajjan.
**Feature image A CH-147F Chinook and two CH-148 Griffon helicopters fly over Parliament Hill while members of the Royal Canadian Air Force stand on parade during the Battle of Britain ceremony.
A ceremony was held at Parliament Hill on 20 September 2015 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. SU03-2015-0736-170”