2 Wing History

2 Wing began its intrepid career on January 1, 1944 in support of the ongoing war efforts in Europe, as part of the reorganization of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan North West Air Command in Canada. Post-war, after a brief transition to peacetime work, 2 Wing was eventually disbanded on August 1, 1951.

Just over a year later at the start of the Cold War, 2 Wing was reactivated in France at Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Grostenquin. It consisted of three F-86 Sabre fighter squadrons, namely 416, 421 and 430 Squadrons, as well as an aerobatic team, the Sky Lancers. 2 Wing fighters assumed deterrent and reconnaissance roles as Europe adjusted from a post-World War period to a potential nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union. In the early 1960s, France assumed a greater role in its own defences and 2 Wing along with its sister wings were again disbanded on August 1, 1964.

On January 1, 1969, the formation was once again reactivated as 12 Air Reserve Wing in Canada, initially consisting of two fighter squadrons. A wing badge with a phoenix was designed in 1972 but not pursued. In 1981, following a strategic realignment, the formation was renamed 2 Wing with a transformation to rotary-winged aircraft in support of ground troops. A new symbol for the wing, the yellow jacket wasp, was designed. In 1996, during a period of budgetary restraint, 2 Wing was closed and its assets and operations were transferred to 1 Wing.

In July 2012, 2 Wing was reborn in its fourth reiteration as an expeditionary formation under the Air Force Expeditionary Capability (AFEC) modernization concept. Like the mythical phoenix, 2 Wing saw a renaissance as a first responder expanding its "expeditionary" wings to project the capabilities of the RCAF to respond to armed conflicts and assist with humanitarian disasters.