(Front Row, from left) Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny, the new Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, and outgoing Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger pose at the Change of Command ceremony held on August 12th, 2022 – Screenshot from the Royal Canadian Air Force / Facebook
On August 12th, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger. The ceremony was presided over by General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.
Lieutenant-General Kenny takes command as the 21st Commander of the RCAF. He has served in a myriad of roles throughout his career, on the flight line, in staff and command roles, and while deployed on operations. He most recently served as the Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD region.
“I am humbled to lead the Royal Canadian Air Force as we approach our 100th year as an independent service in 2024,” remarked Kenny. “Under Lieutenant-General Meinzinger’s leadership, we have made enormous strides in meeting and exceeding operational and training mandates in the most trying of times and circumstances, and his tireless pursuit of initiatives to recognize our members and their families while forging new paths for the delivery of air and space power have been inspiring. Boundless opportunities lie ahead for our Air Force, which will be guided by my commitment to value our people and invest in their future, ensure we are mission ready always, modernize for tomorrow’s challenges, and engage with our valued partners for success.”
Kenny served as Wing Commander of 4 Wing for two years, from 2014 to 2016.
The outgoing commander, Lieutenant-General Meinzinger, has served as Commander of the RCAF since 2018 and will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after 37 years of distinguished service.
“The Royal Canadian Air Force is an amazing organization and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside all of you. As the son of an RCAF Chief Warrant Officer, I know we draw strength, inspiration, and pride from those that came before us. Over the past four-plus years it has been exceedingly rewarding to see first-hand the dedication of our aviators and civilian team members across Canada and abroad. I am so pleased to welcome Lieutenant-General Kenny as your new Commander, a leader who is ideally suited to guide the RCAF into a bright future. I know that he will ensure all members of the RCAF will have the opportunity to grow, thrive, and excel as we continue to meet our mission mandates moving forward,” added Meinzinger
The RCAF defends and protects Canadian and North American airspace in partnership with the United States, supports military operations at home and abroad, is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program, force generates air and space-related capabilities for military operations, and delivers training and education to members of the RCAF.