**** DND Media Release
RCAF Air Demonstration teams launch 2021 season under Operation INSPIRATION
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) air demonstration teams officially began their 2021 season today after formal certification by the Commanders of 1 Canadian Air Division and 2 Canadian Air Division following an acceptance show at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
This summer, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be joined by the CF-18 Demonstration team as they again fly under Operation INSPIRATION and attend airshows and conduct flybys across Canada and the United States.
Flying under Operation INSPIRATION will also provide an opportunity to carry on the legacy of Captain Jenn Casey, the Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer who lost her life during the first iteration of Operation INSPIRATION in May 2020 and whose dedication was instrumental to connecting the CAF with Canadians during her time with the air demonstration teams. Both teams are honoured to continue this work.
Throughout the 2021 season the RCAF air demonstration teams will be following local, provincial and federal health measures including wearing masks, frequent hand washing, social distancing and limiting their movements in communities as much as possible. These measures may be updated throughout the season as directed by public health and military medical authorities.
“Our air demonstration teams are an important face of our Air Force and their role in connecting us to Canadians was clear last year through the success of Operation INSPIRATION. This year we couldn’t think of a better way to continue that momentum than through formally recognizing Operation INSPIRATION as an enduring mission that will be carried forward by these two teams.”
Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division
“I am so proud of the resilience and professionalism of our air demonstration teams and their successful return following the devastating loss of Captain Casey last year. Operation INSPIRATION’s goal is to inspire and build relationships with Canadians. I think it is a fitting tribute that these two teams carry on this mission.”
Brigadier-General Denis O’Reilly, Commander 2 Canadian Air Division
“The 2021 airshow season is at our door and we’re ecstatic to be back. The team has worked hard on our show and I’m really satisfied with the result, not just for the pilots, but also the technicians and other support personnel. We are proud to continue Op INSPIRATION and hopefully put some smiles on the faces of Canadians during the next few months.”
Major Jean-Francois Dupont, Canadian Forces Snowbirds Team Lead
“The team has been working hard to be ready for this season and it’s amazing to see it all come together. We are excited to take to the skies and demonstrate the awesome ability of the CF-18 while paying tribute to the military members supporting Canadians through domestic operations every day. We are honoured to participate in Operation INSPIRATION with the Snowbirds this summer and look forward to flying in a sky near you. ”
Captain Daniel Deluce, 2021 CF-18 Demonstration Team Pilot
- The teams’ schedules can be found on their websites and social media pages and are subject to change as provincial restrictions are updated.
- The CF Snowbirds and CF-18 Demonstration Team are committed to the health and safety of their audiences and will adhere to the highest level of COVID-19 precautions. The teams will work with each air show and event to ensure COVID-19 measures are in place for both the team and the general public.
- Team members, like many Canadian Armed Forces members across Canada, have been receiving their first vaccine dose in recent weeks and will have the opportunity to receive their second dose as they become eligible.
- The CF Snowbirds have been entertaining audiences and inspiring future aviators across North America since 1971 and are excited to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2021.
- The CF-18 Demonstration Team’s 2021 theme is “Strong at Home,” representing the commitment to domestic operations that the RCAF and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are involved with throughout Canada. The RCAF is committed to 24/7 operations in the defence of Canada and North America. Each day, aviators work hard to protect the lives of Canadians through NORAD operations, aeronautical Search and Rescue across Canada, rapid response to natural disasters, and operations to combat COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic.