THE HISTORY OF CANADA'S AIR FORCE
1 Canadian Air Division 1997 - Present
On July 31, 1997 all previous commands and groups were disbanded and replaced by 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region (1 CAD/CANR) with an operations structure based on the traditional wing concept. The 1 CAD wings are as follows:
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 eastern 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, the Maritimes 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 Maritime Command 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, 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.
In 1999 the Canadian Air Force celebrated its Diamond Jubilee after 75 years serving Canadians. With its current unified command structure, new programs, and new aircraft Canadians can be proud of their air force and look to the future with much optimism. The Canadian Air Force has gone through a period of growth and expansion, and continues to do so. With operations in the Balkans, Hati, Somalia, and Afganistan Canada`s Air Force has been busier than ever. Several aircraft types have been retired as well as new types acquired. The venerable CH-124 Sea King helicopter has finally been replaceed with the new and upcoming CH-148 Cyclone. Operations in Afghanistan have had a major impact on the Forces operational requirements and to this end new CC-130J Hercules transports have been ordered, the CC-177 Globemaster III has entered service along with Chinook helicopters and UAV`s.