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News | April 28, 2016

Western Air Defense Sector Canadians celebrate Royal Canadian Air Force Anniversary

By Story by Capt. Kimberly Burke JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCChord, Wash.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCChord, Wash. -- The 92nd Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was celebrated by the Western Air Defense Sector

(WADS) Canadian Detachment's annual RCAF Mess Dinner at the American Lake Conference Center April 15. 

The Canadian Detachment has been working side by side with the U.S. in building 852 at McChord Field as part of NORAD since its construction in mid

1950s. WADS is a joint, bi-national organization that ensures control over all U.S. airspace, conducts air defense and airborne counter-drug


Mess dinners are common to all military services and are formal occasions filled with pageantry, customs and traditions, according to Warrant Officer

Richard Martin, Canadian Unit Warrant Officer. "During a multi-course dinner, toasts are proposed, music played and speeches, preferably brief,

are given." 

The guest speaker, Lt. Gen. Pierre St. Amand, deputy commander for NORAD, upheld the brief speech tradition but did take the time to touch on the long

history of the RCAF and he praised the long standing close relationship the U.S. and Canadian military have shared, specifically in NORAD and at the

Western Air Defense Sector.