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LGen Al Meinzinger assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at a ceremony in Ottawa on May 4, 2018.
Meinzinger replaces LGen Mike Hood, who had been in the role since July 2015.
“I want to thank LGen Hood for his outstanding leadership throughout a truly distinguished career,” said Gen Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, who presided over the ceremony.
“Earning command takes years of hard work and dedication, and that same work ethic has been apparent during his tenure. LGen Hood’s efforts have positioned the Royal Canadian Air Force to meet the operational challenges we will face for years to come.
“As he passes command to LGen Meinzinger, I am confident that same level of excellence will continue. I am equally confident that LGen Meinzinger will command the RCAF with skill and dedication in the years to come.”
“I am deeply honoured to accept command of the Royal Canadian Air Force from LGen Hood, who has led the RCAF and served his country with passion, commitment and vision,” said Meinzinger.
“I am privileged and proud to lead the members of this distinguished national institution. I assume this command with the knowledge, however, that we have much work left to do and that, as we move forward, ‘People, Policy, Program and Posture’ will be our anchor points.”
Meinzinger enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1985 and assumed command of 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron in 2006.
He deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011 to command Canada’s Joint Task Force-Afghanistan Air Wing, overseeing the final phase of Air Wing support to combat operations.
In July 2013, Meinzinger took command of Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont. He was promoted to Major-General in May 2015, and appointed deputy commander of the RCAF the same year.
He was appointed director of staff for the Strategic Joint Staff in March 2017, and was promoted to Lieutenant-General on April 20, 2018.
The commander of the RCAF ensures that trained personnel, along with the necessary equipment and support, are available and ready to carry out air operations in Canada, in North America and around the world, when called upon by the Government of Canada.
The RCAF includes approximately 12,000 Regular Force personnel and 2,100 Air Reserve personnel (Primary Reserve and officers of the Cadet Instructor Cadre). Approximately 1,500 civilian public servants are employed within the RCAF organization.