Above image: Right, MGen. Eric Kenny and left, MGen. Iain Huddleston.
The Royal Canadian Air Force’s robust command and control formation 1 Canadian Air Division welcomed its new commander this week.
In a change of command ceremony held at 17 Wing Winnipeg on July 7, 2022, the proverbial torch was passed from MGen. Eric Kenny to MGen. Iain Huddleston. The ceremony was presided by Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, Commander North American Aerospace Defense Command, LGen. Al Meinzinger, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and VAdm. Bob Auchterlonie, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command.
As commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, MGen. Huddleston will also command Canadian NORAD Region, Joint Force Air Component and Search and Rescue Region Trenton.
“Major-General Kenny has led 1 Canadian Air Division, as well as a multitude of other responsibilities, throughout one of the most challenging and demanding periods for the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces. We are incredibly fortunate to have his leadership, as he led the team to ensure we continually met our operational commitments, while prioritizing initiatives for positive institutional change. I also extend a heartfelt welcome and congratulations to Major-General Huddleston for his appointment today as the new Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division. He is embarking on this Command position at a critical time when our need for airpower is as important as ever, as is our commitment to stay laser focused on becoming a more inclusive organization. I know Major-General Huddleston will thrive in this position of responsibility,” said LGen. Meinzinger.
Welcoming the New Commander
MGen. Huddleston began his career with the RCAF flying the CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft and later served on exchange with the Royal Air Force, where he flew Nimrod MR2 aircraft.
According to a Department of National Defence (DND) press release, MGen. Huddleston, who is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom, has served in various capacities throughout his career, including:
- Commander of 429 Transport Squadron
- Deputy Commander Force Generation
- Deputy Commander at 1 Canadian Air Division
- Director General Air and Space Readiness at RCAF headquarters.
- Commander 14 Wing Greenwood where he led in the operational debut of the current Block III Aurora.
- He deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as the Kandahar Airfield NATO plans officer. He has also deployed to Oman and Iraq.
- He most recently served as Chief of Staff, Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa.
“1 Canadian Air Division, the Canadian NORAD Region, and the Joint Force Air Component and Search and Rescue Region Trenton are among the busiest organizations in the Canadian Armed Forces. On any day, there are RCAF aircraft and crews overseas, on NORAD alert, on SAR operations or engaged in critical training to enable operations at home and abroad. I have no doubt the next few years will be busy, but I look forward to working with the entire 1 Canadian Air Division enterprise and our allies in order to be there for Canada, Canadians and our fellow members of the Canadian Armed Forces, through the generation and employment of agile and integrated airpower,” said MGen. Huddleston.
Outgoing Commander to Command RCAF
MGen. Eric Kenny has served in the Royal Canadian Air Force since 1989. He has served in a variety of high-profile roles throughout his career. He has served as Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division since July 2020.
In April, DND announced that MGen. Kenny would become the next commander of the RCAF. He is expected to take on his new role later this summer.
“I thank the members of 1 Canadian Air Division, Canadian NORAD Region, Joint Force Air Component and Search and Rescue Region Trenton for your steadfast dedication, professionalism and commitment to Canada. Each day you defended and protected Canadians at home through NORAD, SAR, assistance during fires and floods, and COVID-19 support and vaccine delivery throughout the pandemic. Outside of Canada, you transported refugees to safety from Afghanistan, provided aid in support of Ukraine, contributed to assurance measures to counter Russian aggression and supported imposition of sanctions on North Korea. You are an inspiration and it was an incredible privilege to have served as your commander,” said MGen. Kenny.
1 Canadian Air Division
In his new role as commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, MGen. Huddleston will have 11 RCAF Wings across Canada, 16 fleets of aircraft, and approximately 13,000 military and civilian Defence Team members under his command.
The Trenton Search and Rescue Region covers an area of more than 10 million square kilometres: from the British Columbian border in the west to Quebec’s eastern border, and from the U.S. border to the south, to the Arctic.
1 Canadian Air Division provides operationally-ready air forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring its wings and units are ready to meet Canada’s aerospace needs, according to DND.
“Our ability to project force and achieve effects with speed, height and reach, is an essential component of how we conduct operations both at home and around the globe. From airlift to search and rescue to maritime patrols, the airpower provided by the Joint Force Air Component and aviators of this headquarters is central to the safety of Canadians and protection of Canada’s interests. The Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division is among the busiest in the Canadian Armed Forces and I welcome Major-General Huddleston to Winnipeg knowing he brings a wealth of operational experience to the job,” said VAdm. Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.