One of the air forces which suffered most from post Cold War budget cuts are the Canadian Forces This air force is again undergoing a major restructuring which is including a reduction of aircraft to an all time low total of about 285 aircraft and helicopters.

As a direct result of the Cold War all Canadian combat assets were withdrawn from Europe. This included the CF-188 Hornets from 409sq, 421sq and 439sq as well as a small number of CT-133s based at Baden Söllingen. Also withdrawn were a small number of CH-136 Kiowas from 444sq based at Lahr. Both bases were closed for military operations in 1993 and 1994 respectively.

Back home in Canada all air assets of the Canadian Forces were organised under the Air Command which was the direct successor of the Royal Canadian Air Force which ceased to exist as a separate service in 1968. Fighter units were assigned to the Fighter Group which included the Canadian NORAD Region HQ at CFB North Bay; units supporting maritime patrol and ASW activities were assigned to the Maritime Air Group, headquartered at CFB Halifax; tactical airlift assets to Air Transport Group at CFB Trenton; army supporting helicopters units to 10 Tactical Air Group at CFB Montreal and reservist activities to Air Reserve Group at CFB Winnipeg.

Another major restructuring in 1997 saw the disbandment of the five groups mentioned above and the establishment of 1 Canadian Air Division (1 CAD) .Today the Canadian Air Force consists of a total of twelve Wings with flying units assigned to them. Hornet operations, currently the sole combat type in use, are concentrated under 3 Wing at CFB Bagotville and 4 Wing at CFB Cold Lake. Rotary ASW operations under 12 Wing at CFB Shearwater. Aurora operations under 14 Wing at CFB Greenwood with one additional squadron at 19 Wing CFB Comox, transport assets mainly under 8 Wing at CFB Trenton with additional units with 14 Wing and 17 Wing.

Army supporting units operating the CH-146 Griffon are reporting to 1 Wing at CFB Kingston. Flying training is undertaken by the Bombardier ran NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) at 15 Wing, CFB Moose Jaw with additional activities taking place under NFTC supervision at Southport Aerospace Centre (formerly CFB Portage la Prairie) and CFB Cold Lake.

In 2005 and 2006 another major transformation took place, which saw the consolidation of several squadrons within their respective wings.


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