Commemorating shared heritage and to salute an ever-strong partnership, LGen. Michael Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, had the opportunity to welcome Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), to Ottawa last week.
On this significant occasion, Hood released the following statement:
“We are pleased to have discussed several areas of common interest for both the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which further improved the relationships between our air forces.
“Focused on people, we discussed gender balance and diversity in the RCAF and RNZAF as well as steps the RCAF and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have taken as part of Operation HONOUR, the CAF’s mission to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian military.
“Discussions touched on empowerment of junior air force members to bring their ideas forward for the benefit of the organization. As the RCAF states, “Great ideas have no rank”. Following a major RCAF parade in Toronto on September 1, we also spoke about how both Air Forces communicate with the public and maintain strong bonds with communities as part of our leadership responsibilities and in support of recruiting.”
The two countries have a significant partnership dating back to the Second World War. More than 7,000 RNZAF members graduated from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada between 1940 and 1945.
Many New Zealanders and Canadians also served side by side in Commonwealth Squadrons during the war.
To commemorate this shared history, the two Air Force commanders laid a wreath at the National War Memorial.
“We look forward to future exercises, like Exercise Maple Flag in Canada, which will enable our airwomen and airmen to further learn from each other as we continue to strengthen our friendships,” stated Hood.