|Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff|
|Royal Canadian Air Force|
|Reports to||Chief of the Defence Staff|
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure|
|Deputy||Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division|
The Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (French: commandant de l'Aviation royale canadienne) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Air Force. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Air Force Staff and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.
History of the position
With the creation of the Canadian Aviation Corps in 1914, a provisional commander was appointed. This small and short-lived organization was dissolved in 1915 and it was not until 1918 that the Canadian Air Force came into being under the authority of its Officer Commanding. The Canadian Air Force was reconstituted in 1920 and the officer in command (Air Commodore Tylee) held the title of Air Officer Commanding. It was also from 1920 to 1922 that Air Vice-Marshal Sir Willoughby Gwatkin served as Inspector-General of the Canadian Air Force although formally command was held by Tylee. Tylee's successors, not being air officers, only held the title of Officer Commanding. In 1922, the senior Air Force post was redesignated as the Director and in 1924, when the Canadian Air Force was granted its Royal prefix, the officer appointed to command the Air Force continued to hold the title of Director. From 1932 to 1938 the title of Senior Air Officer was used. In late 1938, the Air Force became an independent service and its professional head was retitled Chief of the Air Staff, bringing the Canadian higher command arrangements and nomenclature into line with that of the British and Australian air forces. The title of Chief of the Air Staff was used throughout World War II and well into the Cold War years. However, in 1964, the post was abolished as part of a plan to integrate the Canadian Forces and authority over aviation units was no longer vested in a single post. This arrangement was eventually judged to be impractical and in 1975 the air units of the Canadian Forces were placed within Air Command under the authority of a lieutenant-general with the title Commander of Air Command. In 1997 the Commander of Air Command was re-designated the Chief of the Air Staff, a title which continued in use until 2011. In 2011 Air Command was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force at which time the appointment was renamed to its present incarnation.
Evolution of the position
|Dates||Title||Rank(s) held||Air service|
|1914–1915||Provisional Commander||Captain||Canadian Aviation Corps|
|1918–1920||Officer Commanding||Lieutenant Colonel||Canadian Air Force|
|1920–1922||Air Officer Commanding
|Canadian Air Force|
|1924–1932||Squadron Leader to Group Captain||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|1932–1938||Senior Air Officer||Wing Commander to Air Vice-Marshal|
|1938–1964||Chief of the Air Staff||Air Vice-Marshal to Air Marshal|
|1964–1975||no single air commander||not applicable||no single air power organization|
|1997–2011||Chief of the Air Staff|
|2011–||Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff||Royal Canadian Air Force|
- Provisional Commander
- Note: Although many Canadians served in the British air services, there was no Canadian air service from 1915 to 1918.
- Officer Commanding
- Air Officer Commanding
- Officer Commanding
- Wing Commander J.L. Gordon (1922–1924)
- Wing Commander W.G. Barker (1924)
- Group Captain J.S. Scott (1924–1928)
- Wing Commander L.S. Breadner (1928–1932)
- Squadron Leader A.A.L. Cuffe (1932)
- Senior Air Officer
- Group Captain J.L. Gordon (1932–1933)
- Wing Commander G.O. Johnson (1933)
- Air Vice-Marshal G.M. Croil (1934–1938)
- Chief of the Air Staff
- Air Vice-Marshal G.M. Croil (1938–1940)
- Air Marshal L.S. Breadner (1940–1943)
- Air Marshal R. Leckie (January 1944 – August 1947)
- Air Marshal W.A. Curtis (1947–1953)
- Air Marshal C.R. Slemon (1953–1957)
- Air Marshal H.L. Campbell (1957–1962)
- Air Marshal C.R. Dunlap (1962–1964)
Note: There was no overall air commander between 1964 and 1975
- Commander of Air Command
- Lieutenant-General W.K. Carr (1975–1978)
- Lieutenant-General G.A. MacKenzie (1978–1980)
- Lieutenant-General K.E. Lewis (1980–1983)
- Lieutenant-General P.D. Manson (1983–1985)
- Lieutenant-General D.M. McNaughton (1985–1986)
- Lieutenant-General L.A. Ashley (1986-1988)
- Lieutenant-General F.R. Sutherland (1989-1991)
- Lieutenant-General D. Huddleston (1991-1993)
- Lieutenant-General G.S. Clements (1993–1995)
- Lieutenant-General A.M. DeQuetteville (1995–1997)
- Chief of the Air Staff
- Lieutenant-General D.N. Kinsman (1997–2000)
- Lieutenant-General L.C. Campbell (2000–2003)
- Lieutenant-General K.R. Pennie (2003–2005)
- Lieutenant-General J.S. Lucas (2005–2007)
- Lieutenant-General A. Watt (2007–2009)
- Lieutenant-General A. Deschamps (2009-2011)
- Chief of the Air Force Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force
- Lieutenant-General A. Deschamps (2011-2012)
- Lieutenant-General Y. Blondin (2012-2015)
- Lieutenant-General M J Hood (2015-2018)
- Lieutenant General A D Meinzinger (2018–Present)
- Chief of the Defence Staff, the second most senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces after the Commander-in-Chief
- Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Navy.
- Commander of the Canadian Army, the institutional head of the Canadian Army.
- Canadian Navy, Air Force 'Royal' Again With Official Name Change Huffington Post, 15 August 2011
- "William Avery Bishop". gwpda.org. http://www.gwpda.org/comment/bishop.html. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Clarence Dunlap The Canadian encyclopedia
- "Thirty Years of Air Command: LGen Bill Carr Recalls AF Re-birth". http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/news_e.asp?id=1454. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- "Canadian Who's Who 1997". http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=mackay&t=42709&d=2377. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- "A Long Forgotten Piece of History". http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/17w-17e/nr-sp/index-eng.asp?id=8653. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
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- "Squadron Honorary Colonel - Lieutenant-General F.R. Sutherland, CMM, CD (Ret'd)". http://www.rmcclub.ca/eVeritas/2005/Issue017/200517Snowbirds.htm.
- "Saving the Wild Mustangs". http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/141/language/en-CA/Saving-the-Wild-Mustangs--the-Story-Behind-the-Vintage-Wings-Mustang.aspx.
- "Canadian Who's Who 1997". http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=clarke&t=61168&d=1671. Retrieved 2009-07-09. [dead link]
- "Canadian Who's Who 1997". http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=denman&t=27136&d=1797. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- National Defence Canada. Biography of the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force Archived 2012-05-03 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on: 2012-03-20.
- "Deschamps to retire; Blondin promoted, in RCAF reshuffle". Skies. September 4, 2012. http://skiesmag.com/news/article/17110-deschamps-to-retire-blondin-promoted-in-rcaf-reshuffle.html. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Maj.-Gen. Mike Hood next commander of Royal Canadian Air Force". cbc.ca. 12 February 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/maj-gen-mike-hood-next-commander-of-royal-canadian-air-force-1.2953581. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Johnson, Vic. "Canada's Air Force Then and Now". Airforce magazine. Vol. 22, No. 3. 1998. ISSN 0704-6804.