Canadian Forces Snowbirds Launch Operation INSPIRATION

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The Canadian Forces Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Squadron) perform over 19 Wing Comox. 431 (AD) Squadron and CF-188 Demo Team deployed to 19 Wing Comox to complete training prior to the start of the 2017 Air Show season. Approximately 42 personnel and 14 CT-114 aircraft deployed to 19 Wing Comox for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Pilots will acquaint themselves with mountainous terrain and over-water show sites. Images by MS Roxanne Wood 19 Wing Imaging 2017, DND-MDN Canada
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Squadron) perform over 19 Wing Comox. 431 (AD) Squadron and CF-188 Demo Team deployed to 19 Wing Comox to complete training prior to the start of the 2017 Air Show season. Images by MS Roxanne Wood 19 Wing Imaging 2017, DND-MDN Canada CX04-2017-0135-090 Le 11 avril 2017 19e Escadre Comox Les Snowbirds des Forces canadiennes (431e Escadron de démonstration aérienne) donnent un spectacle au-dessus de la 19e Escadre Comox. Le 431e Escadron de démonstration aérienne et l’équipe de démonstration du CF-18 se sont rendus à la 19e Escadre Comox afin de terminer leur entraînement en vue de la saison de spectacles aériens de 2017. Environ 42 militaires et 14 avions CT-114 ont participé au déploiement des Snowbirds des Forces canadiennes. Les pilotes se familiariseront avec le terrain montagneux et les lieux de spectacles au-dessus de l’eau. Photos : Matc Wood R.E. Services multimédias de la 19e Escadre 2017, DND-MDN CANADA

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will cross the country to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.  This unique mission is being aptly dubbed Operation INSPIRATION.

“The iconic Snowbirds have a special place in the hearts of many Canadians. We hope that their presence over Canadian cities and towns to acknowledge the hard work being done by Canadians in our grocery stores, our pharmacies, our hospitals and long-term care facilities lift up Canadians during these difficult times,” commentss Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

“Every year, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds travel the country putting smiles on the faces of Canadians. While Canadians may not be able to gather at air shows for now, we’re honoured to bring the Snowbirds team to Canadians and to pay special tribute to them,” states Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force.

“We’ve been asked to do what we do best… inspire Canadians. Through Operation INSPIRATION, we not only want to salute the front-line health care workers, first responders, and essential workers, but also all Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We want Canadians to know we’re in this with you,” adds Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

The team’s signature nine-jet formation, with trailing white smoke, will fly over cities across the country starting in Nova Scotia this weekend and working west throughout the week. The team will release anticipated locations, routes, and times on their social media platforms each day. Flyovers will occur at an elevation no lower than 500 feet above all obstacles.

The team will be practicing recommended hand-washing and wearing recommended personal protective equipment while travelling. Team members will also be minimizing any interactions with people outside of the team.

We encourage Canadians to observe the flyovers from the safety of their home and refrain from travelling to see the flyovers. Please maintain physical distancing practices that are keeping us all safe.

Quick Facts

  • The Canadian Forces Snowbirds paused operations on March 20, 2020 to preserve the team’s health. The members have been at home physically distancing since that time.
  • The team will spend two days at their home base of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan flying refresher and proficiency training missions, which is standard Royal Canadian Air Force practice after an extended pause from flying operations, before starting their cross-Canada tour.