Keep Calm and Carry On - Angus Watt retires as CAS

 Angus Watt

Illustration; Dave O'Malley

Keep Calm and Carry On

After a stellar 37 year career in the service of his country, Lieutenant General Angus Watt, Chief of the Air Staff, retires at the top of his game. Taking his place at the helm of the New Canadian Air Force will be Lieutenant General André Deschamps.

Yesterday, during a ceremony filled with history, tradition and ritual, The Chief of the Air Staff Lieutenant General Angus Watt was honoured for his remarkable career in the Canadian Air Force. By his side stood his wife Stephanie Dawes-Watt and their two children. In attendance was Peter Mackay, Minister of National Defence, Chief of the Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk, former Chiefs of the Air Staff and hundreds of family, friends and military colleagues.

Amid the drone of bagpipes and the fanfare of the Air Force Band, many people spoke of his career and the brighter future for the Canadian Air Force he has gifted us. Vintage Wings of Canada would like to join with these dignitaries in praise of Watt's vision, leadership and friendship. Under his leadership the Air Force not only learned to look forward to a strong future, it also looked back to a proud history to find strength and pride. Angus Watt was a great champion of our Canadian heritage, of patriotism and esprit de corps. He was a champion for Vintage Wings. Through his guidance and those Chiefs of the Air Staff before him, the Air Force is a stronger, more efficient force for Canada.

In his office, Watt displayed a poster which was designed at the outset of the Second World War but was never published until recently. On it was simply the St Edward's Crown of England and the words of King George VI spoken at a moment of great stress for his countrymen - simply "Keep Calm and Carry On".

We will sir, we will.

Angus Watt 2

The new Chief of the Air Staff, LGen André Deschamps. “I intend to keep the pace moving forward, integrate our new equipment and continue to renew our capabilities. This is a great team with great equipment and great training, delivering world class results.  I am proud to lead Canada’s Air Force into the future.” As the senior Air Force officer in the Canadian military, the Commander of Air Command and Chief of the Air Staff acts as an advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff on strategic Air Force issues. He is also responsible for training, generating and maintaining combat capable, multi-purpose air forces to meet Canada's defence objectives.

LGen Deschamps has accumulated more than 7,500 flying hours, flying aircraft such as the CT-134 Musketeer, CF-104 Starfighter and CC-130 Hercules. His recent appointments have included Commander of the Theatre Support Element in southwest Asia, Wing Commander of 8 Wing Trenton, Chief of Staff Operations at Canadian Expeditionary Force Command in Ottawa, and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. 
Photo Credit: MCpl Roy MacLellan

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