DND News

RCAF welcomes new Commander

This morning, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from LGen 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.

LGen Kenny takes command as the 21st Commander of the RCAF as it approaches its 100th year as an independent service (April 2024). He has served in myriad roles throughout his career, on the flight line, in staff and command roles, and while deployed on operations. Kenny most recently served as the Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD region.

LGen Eric Kenny
Incoming commander LGen Eric Kenny at Change of Command ceremony in Ottawa on 12 Aug 2022. (Photo: Cpl Doug Burke; D Air PA)

“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,” said the incoming commander.

The outgoing commander, LGen 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.

LGen Al Meinzinger
The outgoing commander, LGen Meinzinger, has served as Commander of the RCAF since 2018. He will be retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces after 37 years of distinguished service. (Photo: S1 Mathieu Potvin)

“The Royal Canadian Air Force is an amazing organization and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside all of you,” said LGen Meinzinger. “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.”

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 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.

CRCAF Change of Command 2022
12 Aug 2022 – Change of Command Ceremony for the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
At table from left: LGen Eric Kenny, new CRCAF; Gen Wayne Eyre, CDS; and LGen Al Meinzinger. (Photo: S1 Mathieu Potvin)

Thanking LGen Meinzinger for leading with a "clear set of priorities" and delivering "in spades," General Eyre then welcomed the new commander, saying that LGen Kenny, "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.”

The Commander of the RCAF, who also serves as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), is the senior Air Force officer in the CAF, located at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. As CAS, 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.

MARK THE DATE:
1 April 2024 will mark 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.