Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), located at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, is also Chief of Air Force Staff. As the senior Air Force officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), they act as an advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff on matters regarding air and space military capabilities to meet Canada’s defence objectives.

Specifically, they are responsible for:

  • Commanding the RCAF
  • Developing, generating and maintaining operationally ready air and space capabilities and personnel
  • Providing advice on matters of national defence and security relevant to the domains of air and space
  • Providing input to the development of the CAF structure
  • Providing input to plans for CAF operations that include military air and space assets
  • Exercising command of assigned forces and conducting force generation for any routine operations that may be assigned

Lieutenant-General A.D. Meinzinger, CMM, MSM, CD

Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger

Lieutenant-General A.D. Meinzinger, CMM, MSM, CD

The son of a retired RCAF Chief Warrant Officer, Lieutenant-General Meinzinger enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1985 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Economics and Commerce from Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Kingston, and was awarded the Governor General's Medal for academic excellence. Immediately following graduation, he attended Queen's University, earning a Master of Arts (MA) in Economics, before obtaining his pilot's wings in 1992.

He has flown the CH-135 Twin-Huey and CH-146 Griffon during his career. In the course of four flying tours, he deployed with 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron as a member of the first contingent in support of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, served as an instructor pilot and Flight Commander, before assuming command of 403 (Helicopter) Operational Training Squadron in August 2006. In 2011, he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan to command Canada's Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing during which he oversaw the final phase of Air Wing support to combat operations.

His staff tours include service with 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Air Staff, and Chief of Staff for the Canadian NORAD staff in Colorado Springs. He is a graduate of the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College in Kingston, and the Canadian Forces College Command and Staff Course. He attended the inaugural National Security Programme, graduating with an MA in Security and Defence Management and Policy. LGen Meinzinger is also a graduate of the United States Air Force (USAF) Combined Force Air Component Commander course.

Promoted to Brigadier-General in June 2012, he was appointed NORAD/NORTHCOM Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans. In 2013, he assumed command of the RMC Kingston. In 2015, he was promoted to Major-General and appointed Deputy Commander Royal Canadian Air Force and in March 2017 he assumed the role as Director of Staff, Strategic Joint Staff.

In April 2018, he was promoted to Lieutenant-General and subsequently appointed to his current position as Commander Royal Canadian Air Force.

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