Major-General Yvan Blondin assumed command of 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region from Lieutenant-General Marcel Duval on July 9th at a formal ceremony held at 17 Wing, Winnipeg.
Lieutenant-General Angus Watt, Chief of the Air Staff, presided over the ceremony.
"As MGen Blondin takes command, I have every confidence that 1 Canadian Air Division is in great hands," said LGen Watt. "During his tenure, LGen Duval has exemplified the high standard of professionalism that Canada expects of its Air Force leaders, and I am certain that MGen Blondin will also be an outstanding commander as he takes on the many Air Force operational challenges ahead."
"I consider it a great honour to be taking command of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD Region," said MGen Blondin. "The Air Force has implemented a great deal of initiatives under the command of LGen Duval, further establishing the division as a key component in the overall success of the Air Force and of the Canadian Forces. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and believe that with our excellent personnel and new capabilities we are ensured continued relevance in both the domestic and international theatres of operations."
"It has been a tremendous privilege commanding 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region," said LGen Duval. "My time here has provided tremendous opportunities; we significantly increased our Air Force role in Afghanistan, and we have celebrated the Canadian Centennial of Flight, the 50th anniversary of NORAD, and the 85th anniversary of Canada's Air Force.
"I now have the pleasure of turning over command to an officer with whom I have enjoyed working immensely. I have the utmost confidence he will lead the men and women of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD Region with distinction."
Among the distinguished guests attending this event were the Honourable John Harvard, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, General Victor (Gene) Renuart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command, and Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, commander Canada Command.
An experienced CF-18 pilot, MGen Blondin has more than 25 years of leadership experience, including commanding officer of the Canadian Operational Force in Aviano, Italy, supporting the NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia, commanding officer of 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville, Que. and wing commander of 3 Wing Bagotville. Most recently he has led as deputy commander, force generation overseeing all operational level force generation, planning, tasking and control activities at 1 Canadian Air Division.
The 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters serves as the central point of command and control for Canada's operational air force and oversees the monitoring of Canada's airspace in support of our commitments to NORAD.