Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 21, 2011 15:38 ET

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

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today to mark the 5th annual Air Force Appreciation Day on Parliament Hill:

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

Thousands of Regular and Reserve Air Force personnel, supported by civilian employees, are directly or indirectly engaged in domestic and international operations.

Our Air Force team is capable, knowledgeable and professional, and is 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 honour them and express our sincere gratitude for their service to Canada.

Over the past year our operational tempo has continued at a level not seen in several generations. In fact, this spring every single one of our fleets was operationally committed – something the Air Force had not seen in recent memory. Whether it is support to operations in Afghanistan, working with allies and partners to enforces an arms embargo and no-fly zone in Libya, or providing emergency assistance to the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Québec, our air personnel is doing an incredible job protecting Canadians and defending Canadian interests.

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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