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Royal Canadian Air Force Welcomes New Commander

This morning, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger. The ceremony was presided over by General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Lieutenant-General Kenny takes command as the 21st Commander of the RCAF. He has served in a myriad of roles throughout his career, on the flight line, in staff and command roles, and while deployed on operations. He most recently served as the Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD region.

The outgoing commander, Lieutenant-General Meinzinger, has served as Commander of the RCAF since 2018, and will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after 37 years of distinguished service.

The RCAF defends and protects Canadian and North American airspace in partnership with the United States, supports military operations at home and abroad, is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program, force generates air and space-related capabilities for military operations, and delivers training and education to members of the RCAF.

“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. 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.” General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff

“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.” Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Outgoing Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force

“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.” Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny, Incoming Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force



• The RCAF fulfills a variety of roles within the CAF and National Defence, with approximately 11,300 Regular Force, 2,000 Reserve Force and 1,500 civilian Defence Team personnel.

• The Commander of the RCAF, who also serves as Chief of the Air Staff, is the senior Air Force officer in the CAF, located at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. They act as an advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff on matters regarding air and space military capabilities to meet Canada’s defence objectives.

• April 1, 2024 marks 100 years of service for the RCAF as an independent entity. Centennial celebrations will focus on three key themes: Your Air Force’s heritage, Your Air Force today, and Your Air Force tomorrow.

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