February 08, 2010 15:13 ET

Statement by Chief of the Air Staff Regarding the Arrest of 8 Wing Commander

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 8, 2010) - The Chief of the Air Staff, Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps, issued the following statement today:

I am aware of the charges brought today against Colonel Russell Williams, 8 Wing Commander, Trenton.

As Chief of the Air Staff, I take very seriously all allegations of service or criminal offences against one of our members.

Although one is considered innocent until proven guilty, in light of the seriousness of the charges, and in consideration of the high level of responsibilities attached to the position of Wing Commander, an interim Wing Commander for 8 Wing Trenton will soon be appointed.

Also, in the coming days, a review will be initiated by 1 Canadian Air Division, in Winnipeg, to determine the most appropriate action to take regarding Colonel Williams pending the outcome of the trial.

The Canadian Forces hold their members to a very high standard of conduct and performance, in Canada or abroad, on or off military duty. I confirm that the Air Force is fully supporting civilian authorities in the conduct of the current matter.

I am certain that Air Force personnel at 8 Wing will carry on with their duties, displaying the usual level of professionalism and sense of duty that they have always shown in the past. We will ensure that the Wing leadership and personnel are supported throughout this difficult period.

This situation affects us all and I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those affected by these tragic events.

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