During a ceremony with due pomp and circumstance at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) command was handed to LGen. Eric Kenny on Friday.
The ceremony, which was presided over by Gen. Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, was held in the nation’s capital and bid farewell to LGen. Al Meinzinger and welcomed LGen. Kenny.
“The Royal Canadian Air Force is an amazing organization and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside all of you. As the son of an RCAF Chief Warrant Officer, I know we draw strength, inspiration and pride from those that came before us. Over the past four-plus years it has been exceedingly rewarding to see first-hand the dedication of our aviators and civilian team members across Canada and abroad. I am so pleased to welcome Lieutenant-General Kenny as your new Commander, a leader who is ideally suited to guide the RCAF into a bright future. I know that he will ensure all members of the RCAF will have the opportunity to grow, thrive and excel as we continue to meet our mission mandates moving forward,” said LGen. Al Meinzinger.
The 21st Commander of the RCAF
LGen. Kenny takes command of the RCAF as the 21st Commander of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) aerial branch.
Kenny’s career with the CAF began in 1989 when he joined the Royal Military College of Canada. He went on to complete pilot training at 15 Wing Moose Jaw in 1995.
Throughout his career, he’s served in many capacities and deployed on many tours, including:
- Task Force Commander for Operation IGNITION in Iceland;
- Detachment Commander of the CF18s and C130HT/C150Ts in Trapani, Italy, where he took part in combat missions for Operation MOBILE (Libya);
- Commander Air Component Coordination Element in Poggio-Renatico, Italy, also for Operation MOBILE; and,
- Commander of ROTO 0 Air Task Force – Iraq for Operation IMPACT.
In June 2020, Kenny was appointed Commander 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region.
“I am humbled to lead the Royal Canadian Air Force as we approach our 100th year as an independent service in 2024. Under Lieutenant-General Meinzinger’s leadership, we have made enormous strides in meeting and exceeding operational and training mandates in the most trying of times and circumstances, and his tireless pursuit of initiatives to recognize our members and their families while forging new paths for the delivery of air and space power have been inspiring. Boundless opportunities lie ahead for our Air Force, which will be guided by my commitment to value our people and invest in their future, ensure we are mission ready always, modernize for tomorrow’s challenges, and engage with our valued partners for success,” said LGen. Kenny.
As commander of the RCAF, Kenny will now be responsible for 11,300 Regular Force, 2,000 Reserve Force, and 1,500 civilian Defence Team personnel. The new commander will also serve as Chief of the Air Staff in his role.
Outgoing RCAF Commander
“Over the past four years, Lieutenant-General Meinzinger has led the Royal Canadian Air Force with a clear set of priorities, and he has delivered in spades. He has been a steadfast proponent for how we care for and support our personnel and their families, has championed the largest recapitalization for the Air Force in decades, and has ensured air and space capabilities were always ready to support our critical missions at home and abroad.WATCH CEREMONY HERE
“I thank him for his more than 37 years of service to Canada. I also welcome Lieutenant-General Kenny to this post, as he assumes command at a critical juncture where we must grow our talent in the RCAF, continue to promote inclusivity, always be ready to deliver operational excellence across all domains of responsibility, while also continuing the meticulous work to deliver capabilities for the future. I cannot think of a better leader who is ready to take on this work, as the RCAF approaches its Centennial in 2024,” said Gen. Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff.
In April 2024, the RCAF will mark its centennial.