Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 24, 2012 14:49 ET

Minister Fantino Celebrates Air Force Appreciation Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2012) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the occasion of the Air Force Appreciation Day on Parliament Hill:

"Our government is supporting the Royal Canadian Air Force with the new equipment they need to protect our country's interests at home and abroad. I am honoured and humbled to help recognize our brave men and women for their commitment and duty in service to their country.

"Since 2006, we have committed billions of dollars in additional support to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence for renewing and modernizing the Royal Canadian Air Forces' equipment.

"Some of our investments to renew and strengthen the capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force to build a first-class, modern air force that is trained, equipped and prepared to confront the challenges to our values and way of life well into the future include our delivery of:

  • 17 CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft that are expected to be delivered ahead of schedule;
  • 15 CH-147 F-model medium-to-heavy lift transport helicopters, the first arrival of which is expected later this year; and
  • 4 CC-177 Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft completed in 2008.

Our government's investments in the Canadian Forces have resulted in substantive improvements, but more work remains to be done. Some of the Government of Canada's ongoing priorities for the Royal Canadian Air Force's fleets include:

  • Ongoing work with Canadian industry to advance our priority of delivering new Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue aircraft in a responsible fashion;
  • Establishing a new Secretariat and implementing a seven step plan to coordinate a future decision to replace our aging CF-18 fleet in the early 2020s; and
  • Continuing our work to acquire CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters announced in 2004.

"I am pleased that the Air Force Association of Canada is hosting this event today in recognition of our Air Force members who put themselves in harms way to defend peace, security and human rights of others. We are indebted to the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force who defend Canadian airspace, fly search and rescue missions that save lives, provide relief during national and international disasters like floods or ice storms or earthquakes, and contribute to Canada's missions abroad.

"It is only right that we provide them with the right equipment to do their jobs. Canadians expect no less".

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