A proclamation to members of the United States Air Force commemorating their 70-years of service in North Bay was presented by Mayor Al McDonald.
It recognized today as United States Air Force Appreciation Day. The ceremony took place at the Ayr Mess, 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay and was also attended by wing leadership.
“This year marks 70 years of teamwork between two nations with a common goal, the defence of North America. We are privileged to host our the United States Air Force contingent and families, both at work in the surveillance and control of North American aerospace, and as members of our community. Today, Canada remains the only country in the world with a bi-national agreement with the United States,” said Colonel Richard Jolette, Commander 22 Wing and Canadian Air Defence Sector.
“I am honoured to continue the strong tradition of United States Air Force presence in the great city of North Bay, a home-away-from-home for many of us. For 70 years we have learned from each other working shoulder-to-shoulder with our Canadian partners to defend North America against all threats, keeping a steady watch,” added Lieutenant Colonel Juliana Bruns United States Air Force.
Members of Detachment 2, First Air Force CFB North Bay are responsible for providing operational resources, aerospace surveillance and control, attack warning and assessment, counter-drug operations and damage-limiting operations in defence of North America.
Concurrently, the members work alongside members of the Canadian Armed Forces at 22 Wing to ensure bi-national forces are trained, equipped, and prepared for air sovereignty of Canada and carry out national policies as directed.
On January 9, 1952, United States Air Force Major J. Eiser and Captain B. Delosier arrived in North Bay and became the first Americans to serve at what was then called RCAF Station North Bay. Their task was to be instructor pilots for the No. 3 All-Weather Fighter Operational Training Unit.
The presence of the United States Air Force has been constant in some way shape or form for the past 70 years: from providing instructor pilots, to complementing the CIM-10 BOMARC surface-to-air missile squadrons, to providing forces for the air defence of the North American continent under the auspices of our bi-national NORAD agreement signed on May 12, 1958.