As a reformation of the former fighter-bomber squadron based out of Edmonton during World War II, the reclaimed fleet is to be used as a SAR training squadron based at Comox, Winnipeg, Trenton and Greenwood – the former being the central training site.
Commander of the RCAF Lieutenant-General (LTG) Al Meinzinger will have the final say on the name for the first CC-295 aircraft, which is to be selected from the five that made the shortlist.
The five shortlisted names that follow were collaboratively thought up by the RCAF project management office, 1 Canadian Air Division and the operational SAR community, with guidance set out by the Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) and Transport Canada. Each name has its own Canadian connotation, as per the rules of aircraft naming set out in the Department of National Defence’s Technical Airworthiness Manual:
- CANSO II – named after the Canso aircraft that served with 11 RCAF squadrons during World War II; after the war, the aircraft served with the RCAF in photo reconnaissance and SAR roles until they were finally retired in 1962.
- GUARDIAN – a protector of the community.
- IRIS – ‘referring to the faculty or power of seeing’; also the goddess of sea and sky in ancient Greek mythology.
- KINGFISHER – in reference to the bird, which is found throughout Canada and has long been known for its speed and agility, as well as it’s keen searching and hunting skills. Also featured on the 1986 Canadian five-dollar bank note as part of the ‘Birds of Canada’ series.
- TURNSTONE – Like the bird found in the Arctic that is able to travel more than 1,000 kilometers in a single day, this name serves as a testament to the aircraft’s flight endurance capabilities.
To submit a vote for one of the shortlisted names, visit the Royal Canadian Air Force website.
Once LTG Meinzinger chooses the name, it will be formerly protected under the Trade Marks Act before being announced in order to ensure that the RCAF avoids any form of complaints or conflict with another organization.
The fleet is expected to begin operations as the 418 Search and Rescue Operational Training Squadron in the Spring of 2020.