By Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin
(OTTAWA, ON) – As the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and a CF-18 pilot, I wish to dispel any questions pertaining to the relevance of the CF-18. I am completely confident in the ability of the aircraft and personnel to extend Canadian air power anywhere in the world, such as in support of the current air operations underway in Iraq.
The aircraft we fly today have been continuously upgraded throughout their lifespan, ensuring that our crews can fly into harm’s way with the confidence that they have the equipment they need to complete missions safely. Our RCAF personnel and aircraft have proven that they can fight alongside our Allies. They are battle hardened, and the capabilities of our CF-18s today certainly enable them to effectively serve alongside the fighter aircraft being flown by allies in the fight against ISIL.
Over Libya in 2011, our CF-18s demonstrated modern air power. Today, working alongside our American partners, we have crews ready to deploy on behalf of NORAD to protect North American airspace. In Europe our CF-18s are patrolling the skies, alongside our NATO partners, building confidence in Europe’ stability and security.
For 90 years the RCAF has served Canadians with pride. Canadians can be confident in our CF-18s and our RCAF personnel to serve and protect Canadian interests around the world.