The Government of Canada’s investment in the RCAF

News Article / November 30, 2016

By Lieutenant-General Michael J. Hood

The following is a message from the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“Royal Canadian Air Force capabilities are primordial to the defence of Canada, the protection of North America in partnership with the United States, and essential to the Government of Canada’s contribution to international peace and security through the projection of air power abroad. The RCAF is the guarantor of Canadian sovereignty.

“With its distinctive characteristics of agility, integration, reach and power, the RCAF is positioned to prevail over Canada’s geographic and climatic challenges and deliver rapid air power effects over every square metre of our immense territory.

“In this context, as you know, the Government has just announced that it is investing in the RCAF, and that we will grow to meet their policy direction regarding the availability of our fighter capability.

“The Government has now directed that we be ready to meet our daily NATO and NORAD commitments simultaneously. The Government has committed to delivering those resources, in part through an open and transparent competition to replace the fighter fleet. Meanwhile, they will enter into discussion with the United States Government and Boeing to augment our present CF-188 fleet. 

“We will also be provided the additional resources required to continue to fly the CF-188 and a potential interim fleet through to transition to the ultimate replacement aircraft. This will include recruiting and training additional pilots and aircraft technicians.

“I am confident that the aircraft ultimately selected through competition will provide the operational advantage that RCAF pilots will require to be successful well into the future. This aircraft will also provide the interoperability we need to defend North America in a NORAD context and excel in a complex and digitized world that is quickly evolving, alongside NATO and our other Allies.

 “We will continue to deliver on our operational commitments – at home, within NORAD, as a leading NATO partner, and in any other missions with which the Government of Canada may task us. We will do so thanks to our most treasured asset: The airmen and airwomen of the RCAF.”

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