Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 25, 2010 10:00 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence for Air Force Appreciation Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 25, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National, issued the following statement today to mark the 4th annual Air Force Appreciation Day on Parliament Hill:

Today is 'Air Force Appreciation Day'. Please join me along with my fellow Parliamentarians and the Government of Canada in celebrating the immense contributions that the men and women of the Air Force make to Canadian sovereignty and security.

Nearly 15,000 Regular and Reserve Force personnel, supported by 2,000 civilian employees, are directly or indirectly engaged in domestic and international operations.

The men and women of our Air Force team – Canadian Forces members and the Department of National Defence employees – are capable, knowledgeable, professional and dedicated to making Canada, North America and the world a safer place for all of us. These people are the Air Force's most valuable resource and today we want to honour them and show them our sincere gratitude for their service to Canada.

We are indebted to our Air Force members who defend Canadian airspace, flying search and rescue missions that save lives, intercepting aircraft or ships carrying illegal drugs, providing relief during national and international disasters like floods or ice storms or earthquakes, thwarting pirate attacks on the high seas or contributing to Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

Some noteworthy examples in 2010 are the contributions made to support domestic operations such as the 2010 commitments to the security of the Olympic and Paralympics Games as well as the G8/G20 Summits. Internationally the Air Force continues to support our troops in Afghanistan; air and ground crews bring a tremendous life saving capabilities to our forces, our Allies, and the Afghan society. The Air Force is often called upon to help countries facing national disasters. We thank all of its members for their major contribution to Operation HESTIA after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Today the Air Force is entering a new era of renewal and modernization that is unparalleled since the height of the Cold War in the 1950s. This new era will lead us into the future and ensure that Canada has eyes in the sky protecting us at home and contributing to internal an international security.

Today, I join all Canadians in showing our pride and appreciation for what our Air Force accomplishes on behalf of Canadians. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I say 'thank you'.

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