The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:

“Today, we celebrate Air Force Day on Parliament Hill – an opportunity to highlight the incredible work of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as we mark its Centennial year. For 100 years, members of the RCAF have served Canadians here at home and around the world, and recently, above the skies into space. We thank them for their incredible dedication to Canada.

“The RCAF is always there to support Canadians in times of need. Through ice storms, floods, landslides, fires, hurricanes, and a global pandemic, RCAF members always answer the call for help.

“RCAF aviators have served in demanding missions and challenging operations around the globe – including the Second World War, the Korean War, the Cold War, the conflicts in the Gulf and in Afghanistan. They serve alongside our American allies as a component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). They also serve alongside North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies and United Nations members, undertaking missions in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

“To ensure that the RCAF is ready for tomorrow’s security challenges, our government is making the largest investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force since the Second World War – delivering new aircraft, infrastructure projects, and new capabilities.

“Since 2022, we have signed agreements for over 200 new or refurbished aircraft for the RCAF. This includes new fleets of F-35 fighter jets, P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft, Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Strategic Tanker Transport Aircraft, training aircraft and more.

“We are making historic progress, but we must keep going. With the recent announcement of Our North, Strong and Free, there is much more to come – including a new tactical helicopter fleet, and a new Airborne Early Warning aircraft capability. The RCAF represents the very best of Canada – and its members can count on our unyielding support. Thanks to these investments, the RCAF of 2035 will look vastly different from today as it continues to evolve and respond to our changing needs.

“Today and always, we thank all RCAF Veterans and the families of those who serve and have served. It is because of them that the RCAF carries an international reputation for professionalism, dedication, and excellence. Their contributions will not be forgotten, and we are committed to continuing to provide RCAF serving members and Veterans with the services and programs that they need.

“Sic itur ad astra.”