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Canadian NORAD Region / 1 Canadian Air Division
CANR small.jpg
Canadian NORAD Region Emblem
Active June 1, 1983 – present
Country Canada
Branch Royal Canadian Air Force
Type Aerospace warning and aerospace control
Role The mission of the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) is to provide aerospace surveillance, identification, control and warning for the defence of Canada and North America.
Size Headquarters has 600 regular and reserve force members
Part of Part of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
Garrison/HQ CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1 April 1997 – present); North Bay, Ontario, Canada (1 June 1983 – 31 March 1997)
Colors Blue, green, yellow, and silver
Anniversaries June 1
9 July 2009 – Present Major General J. Y. (Yvan) Blondin, OMM, CD[1]
Ceremonial chief Major General J. M. (Marcel) Duval, CMM, CD[2]
3 August 2004 – 17 July 2007 Major General J. J. C. (Charlie) Bouchard, CMM, CD
2 August 2002 – 3 August 2004 Major General M. J. Dumais, CMM, CD
Roundel RCAF-Roundel.svg RCAF-LowVis-Roundel.svg
Fin flash Air Command Fin Flash Air Command Fin Flash
Aircraft flown
Fighter CF-188 Hornet
Helicopter CH-124 Sea King, CH-139 JetRanger, CH-146 Griffon, CH-147 Chinook, CH-148 Cyclone, CH-149 Cormorant
Patrol CP-140 Aurora, CP-140A Arcturus
Reconnaissance CU-170 Heron
Trainer CT-114 Tutor, CT-142 Dash-8, CT-155 Hawk, CT-156 Harvard II
Transport CC-115 Buffalo, CC-130 Hercules, CC-130J Super Hercules, CC-138 Twin Otter, CC-144 Challenger, CC-150 Polaris, CC-177 Globemaster

1 Canadian Air Division (1 Cdn Air Div) (French: 1re Division aérienne du Canada) is the operational-level command and control formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Prior to 2006 the official abbreviation for the division was 1 CAD. It is commanded by an air force major-general.[1][2]

No. 1 Air Division RCAF 1952-1967

The division traces its origins to the activation of Headquarters No. 1 Air Division, Royal Canadian Air Force in Paris, France on 1 October 1952, but were relocated to Metz, France in April 1953.[3] No. 1 Air Division was established to meet Canada's NATO air defence commitments in Europe. It consisted of twelve fighter squadrons located at four bases. Two bases were located in France (RCAF Station Marville and RCAF Station Grostenquin) and two were located in West Germany (RCAF Station Zweibrücken and RCAF Station Baden-Soellingen). These wings were part of a group of bases which also included U.S. and French installations, all of which came under the jurisdiction of NATO's Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force (4 ATAF) which, in turn, was commanded by Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE). Components located in Metz included Air Division Headquarters, an air traffic control centre, a telecommunications centre, a combat operations centre, and a support unit.

Canadian squadrons were originally equipped with Canadair Sabre day fighters. One squadron of each wing, however, would be replaced by the all-weather CF-100 in 1956. The Sabre squadrons were replaced by (nuclear) strike/reconnaissance CF-104 Starfighters in 1962. After the RCAF left France in 1967 and after the RCAF was reorganized and consolidated with Canada's other two services, No. 1 Air Division was replaced by No. 1 Canadian Air Group (1 CAG) with headquarters at CFB Lahr, West Germany.[4]

As an austerity measure, in 1968 No. 3 Wing Zweibrucken was closed and its two squadrons were moved to Nos. 1 and 4 Wing. 1969 brought the announcement that the amalgamation of the Canadian Forces in Europe to one command and two bases, and that the Canadian army in northern Germany (Soest area) would be moving south to Nos. 1 and 4 Wings. This meant that No. 1 Wing Lahr would close its doors and the air force in Europe would be reduced in strength (from 6 to 3 squadrons) and concentrated at Baden-Soellingen; the new name would be 1 Canadian Air Group (CAG). The Group remained until 1988 when Canada increased her commitment to NATO (3 squadrons in theatre and two squadrons in Canada) and No. 1 Canadian Air Division stood-up again. However, shortly after this, relations with the east started to warm and Canada made another announcement; Canada would withdraw her forces stationed in Europe and close the doors on her two bases by 1994. The Air Division, reduced to three squadrons then to two and finally one, ceased flying operations 1 January 1993. This ended a major era of Canada's Air Force.

Recreation from 1997

In the summer of 1997, the functionally based groups (Air Transport Group, Fighter Group, Maritime, Air Reserve, and 10 Tactical Air Group) were dissolved, and 14 Training Group was absorbed within Air Command Headquarters. 1 Canadian Air Division was stood up in Winnipeg to exercise operational command of all CF air assets.[5]

Today based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the division is also the headquarters for the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), commands 11 of the RCAF's 13 wings, and oversees the monitoring of Canada's airspace in support of the nation's commitments to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). The division is staffed by 600 regular and reserve force members. In addition to military personnel the headquarters is also assisted by civilian personnel in the Operational Research and Analysis Directorate (ORAD).


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region, July 9, 2009". Canada's Air Force. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "New Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region, July 18, 2007". Canada's Air Force. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  3. Greenhous1999, p. 132.
  4. 1 Air Division - Retrieved 2010-01-20
  5. Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine, B-GA-400-000/FP-000, Second Edition, December 2010, 12.
  • Greenhous, Brereton; Halliday, Hugh A. Canada's Air Forces, 1914–1999. Montreal: Editions Art Global and the Department of National Defence, 1999. ISBN 2-920718-72-X.

External links

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