Home Relationships Winnipeg celebrations mark 100 years of the Royal Canadian Air Force – Winnipeg

Winnipeg celebrations mark 100 years of the Royal Canadian Air Force – Winnipeg

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Winnipeg celebrations mark 100 years of the Royal Canadian Air Force – Winnipeg

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is celebrating 100 years of protecting and defending Canada.

To mark the occasion — which was officially on Monday — small teams of 17 Wing members gathered at coffee shops in Winnipeg to meet with the public Tuesday morning. Search and rescue technicians were also planned to parachute into Assiniboine Park, but the event was cancelled due to weather.

Even so, Commanding Officer of RCAF Barker College, Ryan Kastrukoff, said it’s not just about planes and parachutes anyway.

“It’s easy to focus on the airplanes. It’s easy to focus on the big wars, and the missions. But the part that I find has the most value to me, is everybody that’s in the Air Force gets up every day and decides that they’re going to go serve something bigger than themselves,” he said.

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Kastrukoff says he’s been a part of the Royal Canadian Air Force for 20 years and two days now, enjoying the interesting people and jobs he’s encountered.

“I’ve been to Afghanistan. I’ve been across the country. I’ve been to the States. I’ve been to lots of different places meeting interesting people, and I got to fly a fighter jet,” he said.


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Over the last 100 years, Kastrukoff said there has been some growth in the RCAF.

“The history was, to be blunt, ‘These are the pilots and they’re all men and they’re all white, and they all have mustaches.’ There was a mustache requirement, apparently,” he said.

But now, he said “a much bigger Air Force” can be seen.

“There’s different people from different backgrounds, and they’re all part of the same core of what we’re trying to do, which is protect and defend Canada and Canadians,” he said.

The commanding officer added the stories of those people, over time, make the RCAF a dynamic place to work.

“It’s 100 years of innovation, 100 years of moving forward and progressing as an Air Force, and serving people, and the world, as a whole,” said Chief One Officer of the 17 Mission Support Squadron at 17 Wing, Bob Delaney.

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Delaney said he has been serving with the force for over 27 years now, and started out as an aircraft mechanic with “a sense of duty, a sense of purpose. Wanting to do something bigger, and be a part of something bigger, than myself.”

Since he started, he said he’s worked on government helicopters, gone 100 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean to help someone off a boat, toured in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and has been posted on the Twin Otters in Yellowknife.

“Having a Canadian flag on my shoulder means a lot to me. It’s deeply-rooted in myself and my family as well,” Delaney said.

“I’m hoping that (the public) realizes that what we do contribute, on a daily basis, for the general Canadian public, is not just what we do overseas, but also for what we do… here fighting forest fires, helping out (during) natural disasters and so on,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Mayor among competing teams pulling Hercules plane at RCAF Wing 17'

Winnipeg Mayor among competing teams pulling Hercules plane at RCAF Wing 17


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