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Statement by the Prime Minister on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force:

“As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), I join Canadians to pay tribute to the generations of Air Force members who have dedicated their lives to defending our peace, freedom, and prosperity.

“In times of war and peace, members of the RCAF have shown unwavering courage. The Second World War marked the first significant challenge for the RCAF, with over 200,000 Canadians joining the Air Force to fight against tyranny and fascism. Since then, generation after generation of Canadians have served – from Afghanistan to the Arctic. The RCAF’s contributions to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Canadian Space Program, and United Nations peacekeeping operations demonstrate its enduring commitment to service. Here at home, the RCAF has supported Canadians by delivering disaster relief, including during last year’s devastating wildfire season.

“As we continue to face threats to global stability, the RCAF is more important than ever. That is why the Government of Canada has invested $44 billion over the past 16 months to provide the RCAF with 138 new or refurbished aircraft – from a new fleet of fighter jets to new multi-mission aircraft. This strategic investment is the largest recapitalization of the RCAF in a generation, and it will ensure that the RCAF is well positioned to contribute to operations at home and abroad for decades to come.

“In February 2023, the RCAF launched the Royal Canadian Air Force Strategy to help build a more agile, integrated, and inclusive air and space force that can face tomorrow’s challenges. By investing in the professional and personal growth of RCAF members, we are giving them the tools they need to achieve excellence at home and abroad. Our people are our number one priority and are the foundation upon which we build the RCAF.

“On this centennial occasion, I invite Canadians to learn more about the RCAF’s many achievements and to take part in activities celebrating this milestone anniversary. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the families who have stood behind RCAF members over the last century, sharing in their sacrifices and triumphs. To all Royal Canadian Air Force personnel, past and present: thank you for your service. Your dedication, courage, and selflessness have kept – and continue to keep – our country safe.

“Sic itur ad astra.”

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