Royal Australian Air Force Chief of Airforce visits the RCAF

News Article / May 15, 2017

The commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, officially welcomed the Australian Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, to Ottawa on May 15, 2017, during a brief ceremony held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. After the playing of the Australian national anthem and an inspection of the Guard of Honour, the commanders of the RCAF and Royal Australian Air Force laid wreaths at the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier in Memorial Hall at the museum.

Following the ceremony, Lieutenant-General Mike Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Air Marshal Leo Davies, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, issued the following statement:

“We greatly value the close relationship between our two air forces. We have flown in formation with each other in peacetime and in war, for generations. Ignoring time zones and distance, we are now working to inspire our personnel to further cooperation and collaboration into the future.  

“But first we are inspired by our past. Today, before our talks, we laid wreaths at the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier from the First World War in Memorial Hall at the Canadian War Museum. In this remarkable space, sunlight through the Hall's only window directly illuminates the headstone every Remembrance Day, 11 November, at precisely 11 a.m.. This tribute follows the lead of Australia, whose repatriated Unknown Soldier is buried in the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory in Canberra. We will remember them.

“Drawing upon our shared past and shared values, we are working to enhance our combined participation in exercises, provide mutual support in space domain collaboration as well as air power development and training, and prioritize exchange positions. We also continue our work together within the Air and Space Interoperability Council to resolve interoperability challenges and thus enhance our capabilities in combined operations.

“A shining example of our close collaboration was the deployment of the Australian Heron unmanned aerial vehicle to Afghanistan in 2009. This was a great achievement for the Royal Australian Air Force, and was aided by the Royal Canadian Air Force’s expertise and support. Subsequently, RCAF exchange officers, embedded in the RAAF, have played a key role in establishing UAV operations for Australia. Similarly, the RAAF’s experiences are informing the RCAF’s planning related to the replacement of the CF-18 fighter fleet, which will help position the RCAF for success.”  

“This visit to Canada is a testament of an ever-growing bilateral connection between our two air forces – the RCAF and the RAAF – and, indeed, between our two great nations.”

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