1 Canadian Air Division Commander

Major-General J.P.A. Pelletier, OMM, MSM, CD

Major-General J.P.A. Pelletier, OMM, MSM, CD

In 1978, Major-General Alain Pelletier joined the Air Cadets unit of La Pocatière, Quebec where he earned his glider and private pilot license.

Major-General Pelletier joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1983 as a student pilot. After graduating from Royal Military College of Kingston where he obtained his Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, he proceeded with pilot training and received his wings in 1989. He was then selected to fly the CF-18 fighter aircraft.

Major-General Pelletier carried out four tours of operational flying and instructional training on the CF-18 at 433, 410 and 425 Tactical Fighter Squadrons. He participated in two tours of duty in the Balkans theatre, the second one saw him employed as part of Operation Allied Force, where he took part in combat missions.

Major-General Pelletier has had a number of assignments at the strategic level as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, and to the Chief of Air Staff; as section head for air requirements for fighters and trainers, where he was responsible for the modernization of the CF-18 and for Canada's activities in the Joint Strike Fighter program, and as the Director of Air Requirements in National Defence Headquarters.

He has held a number of command positions: Commander of 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Commander of 3 Wing Bagotville, Qc, Commander of Task Force Libeccio, the Canadian Air Component to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector over Libya. He also was the Deputy Commander Continental US NORAD Region based at Tyndall AFB, Florida, where he was responsible for the Continental U.S. daily air defense readiness in addition to the defense of the US National Capital Region.

In 2016 he deployed in support of US Air Force Central (AFCENT) Command as the Combined Air Operations Center Director where he was responsible for the planning and execution of the daily air tasking orders of AFCENT’s area of responsibility including Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. Promoted to his current rank in January 2017 he took on the leadership of the CAF Fighter Capability Program. Major-General Pelletier was appointed Commander 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region on 16 May 2019.

Major-General Pelletier is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Air War College where he received a Master of Strategic Studies. He is also a graduate of the Canadian Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) and has over 3,000 hours of flying time, of which over 2,500 hours are in the CF-18. His interest in running and physical health had him nominated as the Canadian Forces patron for the sport of running in 2010 and appointed as Commander of Joint Task Force Nijmegen in 2014.