DND News

Air Demonstration team 2021 season

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) air demonstration teams officially began their 2021 season today after formal certification by the Commanders of 1 Canadian Air Division and 2 Canadian Air Division following an acceptance show at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.

The CF Snowbirds have been entertaining audiences and inspiring future aviators across North America since 1971 and are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2021.

“The team has been working hard to be ready for this season and it's amazing to see it all come together,” says CF-18 Demonstration Team Pilot Captain Daniel Deluce. We are excited to take to the skies and demonstrate the awesome ability of the CF-18 while paying tribute to the military members supporting Canadians through domestic operations every day.”

Captain Deluce has actively trained throughout Canada and the United States with the Hornet, and has served on NORAD missions across Canada. In 2017 he also deployed to Romania as part of Operation Reassurance, Canada’s contribution to NATO enhanced air policing. After the air show season is complete, he will begin instructing the next generation of CF-188 pilots.

This summer, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be joined by the CF-18 Demonstration team as they again fly under Operation Inspiration and attend airshows and conduct flybys across Canada and the United States.

Flying under Operation Inspiration will provide an opportunity to carry on the legacy of Captain Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer who lost her life during the first iteration of Op Inspiration in May 2020, and whose dedication was instrumental to connecting the CAF with Canadians during her time with the air demonstration teams.

“I am so proud of the resilience and professionalism of our air demonstration teams and their successful return following the devastating loss of Captain Casey last year,” said Brigadier-General Denis O’Reilly, Commander 2 Canadian Air Division. “Operation Inspiration’s goal is to inspire and build relationships with Canadians. I think it is a fitting tribute that these two teams carry on this mission.”

The teams will work with each air show and event to ensure COVID-19 measures are in place for both the team and the general public. Team members, like many Canadian Armed Forces members across Canada, have been receiving their first vaccine dose in recent weeks and will have the opportunity to receive their second dose as they become eligible.

The teams will follow local, provincial and federal health measures including wearing masks, frequent hand washing, social distancing and limiting their movements in communities as much as possible. These measures may be updated throughout the season as directed by public health and military medical authorities.

The CF-18 Demonstration Team’s 2021 theme is “Strong at Home,” representing the commitment to domestic operations that the RCAF and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are involved with throughout Canada. The RCAF is committed to 24/7 operations in the defence of Canada and North America. Each day, aviators work hard to protect the lives of Canadians through NORAD operations, aeronautical Search and Rescue across Canada, rapid response to natural disasters, and operations to combat COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic.