Canadian Forces Air Command

Canadian Forces Air Command

Retired weapons

! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Weapon! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Country of manufacture! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|# of aircraft
CIM-10 Bomarc-B
conventional supersonic missile
late 1950s to 1970s


There are 13 air force wings across Canada. Wings represent the grouping of various squadrons, both operational and support, under a single tactical commander reporting to the operational commander. Ten wings also include a Canadian Forces base along with other operational and support units.

; 1 Wing Kingston: The home of the CH-146 Griffon helicopter, 1 Wing provides airlift support of troops and equipment anywhere in the world. Its six tactical helicopter and training squadrons are spread out all across Canada. ; 3 Wing Bagotville: Located in Quebec's Saguenay region, 3 Wing provides general purpose, multi-role, combat-capable forces in support of domestic and international roles of Canada's air force. It also provides search and rescue missions. ; 4 Wing Cold Lake : The busiest fighter base in Canada, 4 Wing provides general purpose, multi-role, combat-capable forces in support of domestic and international roles of Canada's air force. Home of fighter pilot training for the Canadian Forces, 4 Wing attracts top gun crews from all over the world to its annual air combat exercise, Maple Flag. It is also home to the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range, used to test the U.S. cruise missile in the 1980s.; 5 Wing Goose Bay: The site of NATO tactical low-level flight training in Canada, 5 Wing, located in Labrador, is home to permanent detachments from the German Luftwaffe, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Italian Aeronautica Militare and temporary training deployments from the Royal Air Force (United Kingdom). 5 Wing is the home of 444 Combat Support Squadron and also serves as a NORAD CF-18 Hornet deployed operating base and airfield supporting a mix of aviation activities, military and civilian, in eastern Canada. ; 8 Wing Trenton: The heart of Canada's air mobility forces, from delivering supplies to the high Arctic (CFS Alert) to airlifting troops and equipment worldwide. It is also responsible for search and rescue in central Canada and home to the Skyhawks Parachute Team with the Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre. ; 9 Wing Gander: Providing search and rescue (SAR) services to northeastern Canada and the western Atlantic Ocean. SAR crews at 9 Wing Gander fly the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and are responsible for a massive area, covering the lower Arctic, Labrador, Newfoundland and the North Atlantic from the shores of Newfoundland to 30° west.; 12 Wing Shearwater: The centre of naval aviation in Canada, 12 Wing is home of the CH-124 Sea King helicopter, and supports the Canadian navy with helicopter air detachments for surface warships in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets.; 14 Wing Greenwood: Located in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, 14 Wing's CP-140 Aurora crews conduct sovereignty and surveillance missions over the Atlantic Ocean routinely, while SAR capabilities for the Maritimes, eastern Quebec and the eastern Arctic are provided by CH-149 Cormorant helicopters and CC-130 Hercules fixed wing aircraft.; 15 Wing Moose Jaw: The site of the NATO Flying Training Program in Canada, 15 Wing is also home to the Snowbirds, the air force's aerobatic team. ; 16 Wing Borden: This base has an airfield that is most notably used for the bi-annual airshow, and it is the largest training facility in the Canadian Forces. No. 16 Wing's schools offer air force technical training and professional development and is the historic birthplace of the RCAF.; 17 Wing Winnipeg: Comprising three squadrons and six schools, 17 Wing also provides support to the Central Flying School, as well as headquarters and administration support for NORAD operations.; 19 Wing Comox: Located on Vancouver Island, its Aurora crews provide surveillance of the Pacific Ocean and western and Arctic regions. The Buffalo and Cormorant crews are responsible for search and rescue in British Columbia, the Yukon and the North Pacific Ocean. The base is also used for training fighter pilots in tactical procedures on nearby ranges.; 22 Wing North Bay: Represents one of Canada's major contributions to the North American Aerospace Defence (NORAD) agreement. From its underground complex at the Sector Air Operations Centre, technicians watch over Canada's airspace 24 hours a day, using state-of-the-art sensors, computer and communications equipment.

Former wings include:

; 2 Wing Toronto; 6 Wing : information N/A; 7 Wing Ottawa; 10 Wing : information N/A; 11 Wing : information N/A; 13 Wing : information N/A; 18 Wing Edmonton : Located in Edmonton, Alberta it was home to the 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, 418 "City of Edmonton" Air Reserve Squadron, 435 Transport Squadron, 440 Transport and Rescue Squadron and 447 Transport Helicopter Squadron. It closed in 1994 and transferred to Land Force Command as army base CFB Edmonton; 20 Wing : information N/A; 21 Wing : information N/A


The following squadrons are currently active with the Canadian Forces and their assigned Wing.

* 12 Radar Squadron: 3 Wing Bagotville
* 42 Radar Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 103 Search and Rescue Squadron: 9 Wing Gander
* 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 402 Navigation School Squadron: 17 Wing Winnipeg
* 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 404 Maritime Patrol and Training Squadron: 14 Wing Greenwood
* 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron: 14 Wing Greenwood
* 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron: 12 Wing Shearwater
* 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron: 19 Wing Comox
* 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 410 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 412 Transport Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron: 14 Wing Greenwood
* 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 417 Combat Support Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron: 12 Wing Shearwater
* 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron: 3 Wing Bagotville
* 426 Transport Training Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 429 Transport Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 431 Air Demonstration Squadron: 15 Wing Moose Jaw
* 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron: 17 Wing Winnipeg
* 436 Transport Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 437 Transport Squadron: 8 Wing Trenton
* 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron: 1 Wing Kingston
* 439 Combat Support Squadron: 3 Wing Bagotville
* 440 Transport Squadron: 17 Wing Winnipeg
* 441 Tactical Training Squadron: 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron: 19 Wing Comox
* 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron: 12 Wing Shearwater
* 444 Combat Support Squadron: 5 Wing Goose Bay

As part of a reorganization in 2005, three squadrons (415, 433, and 429) were disbanded. No. 415 merged with 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron, 429 merged with 436 Transport Squadron and 433 merged with 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Further reorganization in 2006 merged 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron – the combined entity is known as 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron.

On July 18 2007, Gordon O’Connor, then the Minister of National Defence, announced the re-establishment of 429 Transport Squadron for the purpose of operating the air force's new CC-177 strategic transport aircraft. The squadron will based at 8 Wing / CFB Trenton. [ [ 429 Transport Squadron At The Air Force’s Service Again: Air Force New Room] ]

Aircraft deployments

Maritime patrol aircraft are based at:
* 14 Wing Greenwood on the east coast
* 19 Wing Comox on the west coast

SAR squadrons are based at:
* 9 Wing Gander – 103 Search and Rescue Squadron
* 14 Wing Greenwood
* 8 Wing Trenton – 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron
* 17 Wing Winnipeg – 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron
* 19 Wing Comox

Transport and utility helicopters are based at:
* CFB Borden
* CFB Gagetown
* CFB Goose Bay
* CFB Valcartier
* CFB Petawawa
* CFB Edmonton
* St Hubert
* CFB Bagotville
* CFB Cold Lake

Transport and VIP aircraft are based at:
* 8 Wing Trenton (Ottawa)
* 17 Wing Winnipeg
* 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 14 Wing Greenwood

Interceptor/tactical aircraft are based at:
* 4 Wing Cold Lake
* 3 Wing Bagotville:with major low-level flying and bombing ranges for interceptor/tactical aircraft supported at 4 Wing Cold Lake and 5 Wing Goose Bay.

Maritime helicopters are based at:
* 12 Wing Shearwater
* Patricia Bay

Command and control

The Commander of Air Command and the Chief of the Air Staff, Lieutenant-General Angus Watt, located at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, commands and provides strategic direction for the Air Force. The Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD Region, Major General J.M. Duval, CD, is based in Winnipeg. He is responsible for the operational command and control of Air Force activities throughout Canada and world-wide.

Former Chiefs of Air Staff include:

* Lieutenant-General Steve Lucas 2005-2007
* Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie 2003-2005
* Lieutenant-General David Kinsman 1997-2003?
* Lieutenant-General Allan Marvin DeQuetteville ?-1997


Regular Force personnel: 14,500Reserve Force: 2,600Civilians: 2,500

ee also

* List of active Canadian military aircraft


*Milberry, Larry, ed. "Sixty Years – The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924–1984". Toronto: Canav Books, 1984. ISBN 0-9690703-4-9.

External links

* [ Official web site]
* [ Official Website of The Air Command Band]
* [ Official Website of The Central Band of the Canadian Forces]

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