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Reflection at an Inflection Point – Celebrating the past and Modernizing for the Future


The symposium is planned to be one of several events happening across Canada to celebrate 100 years of service for the RCAF. The theme of “Reflection at an Inflection Point – Celebrating the past and Modernizing for the Future” will extract topics from the RCAF’s recently released Strategy to focus on four main objectives including: Value our People, Ready to Conduct Operations, Modernize for Tomorrow and Engage and Partner for Success.  These topics will be evaluated through guest speakers and subject matter experts and/or moderated panel discussion(s), with panelists chosen from key allied commanders, industry professionals, academia, and Royal Canadian Air Force/Canadian Armed Forces leaders.

  • Date: Thurs-Fri (30 – 31 May 2024)
  • Location: Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa
  • Livestream will be available in both official languages.


Download RCAF Centennial Symposium Program

Download RCAF Centennial Symposium Agenda


DAY 1 (MAY 30)

A view from Above – The RCAF’s Legacy in Space and the Next 100 Years.

Colonel Jeremy Hansen

“The Cold War Space Race”

Presentation will center around the cold war space race and the evolution space domain from the cold war to modern operations.

“Expanding in Space and Improving Space Resiliency”

Panel will evaluate and review spaced based resiliency, emergence of the Space Domain in modern operations and the necessary modernization to keep pace with adversaries.

“The Case for AI/ML in Air Operations”

Panel will discuss the advancement of AI/ML in training and operations and what the Air Force will need to focus on to harness modern technology in the optimization of effect ** Teaming concepts and discussions of crewed/uncrewed.

Engage and Partner for Success

“Achieving Operational Advantage through Regional Partnerships”

Panel will evaluate future challenges in NATO/NORAD, regional based conflict and relationships, expeditionary operations and the RCAF’s role in promulgating partnerships.

Evening Reception – 30 May 2024

Royal Canadian Geographic Society, 50 Sussex Drive (parking available at National Research Council, 100 Sussex)

DAY 2 (MAY 31)

Ready to Conduct Operations

“Preparing the RCAF to Fly, Fight and Win alongside Allies against Concurrent European, Arctic and Pacific Threats”
Keynote : Dr. Justin Bronk

Professor Justin Bronk is the Senior Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology in the Military Sciences team at RUSI, and the Editor of the RUSI Defence Systems online journal.

His particular areas of expertise include the modern combat air environment, Russian and Chinese ground-based air defences and fast jet capabilities, the air war during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, unmanned combat aerial vehicles and novel weapons technology. He has written extensively for RUSI and a variety of external publications, as well as appearing regularly in the international media.

“Mission Ready and Combat Capable in the Pacific”

Panel will discuss the Indo-Pacific region, national response to emerging threats and what it takes to be ready to mission ready and combat capable in the pacific.

Value Our People and Invest in Their Future

The RCAF Culture and “Valuing our People”: Learning From History
Dr Allan English (Queen’s University)

Allan English served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces for 25 years. He taught courses related to air warfare, theories of war, and command and leadership to senior and general officers at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto from 1998 to 2014. He was Co-Chair of the Department of Aerospace Studies there from 2001 to 2005. In 2017-18 he designed and taught a graduate course on Canadian air warfare for the War Studies program at the Royal Military College of Canada. His latest work is a book chapter titled “The Forgotten Decade: Women and the RCAF 1952-1962” in On The Wings of War and Peace: The RCAF During the Early Cold War (2023).

“The Workforce of Tomorrow – Attracting Talent in a Competitive World”

Panel: will aim to define the workforce of tomorrow, highlighting the competencies, skills, and attitudes that will be desirable to an employer and how organizations must evolve to move past the resource challenges of today to ensure the optimization of the Air Force of tomorrow.


RCAF Centennial Symposium Registration

Registration to attend the RCAF Centennial Symposium, in person, is now closed. Due to limited seating availability, the option to attend in person is only guaranteed upon reception of a confirmation email, to be sent out early May 2024. The Symposium portion of the event will be livestreamed and available to anyone wishing to connect and watch remotely.

Virtual Symposium Link, click here.