Editor's Message (RCAF Journal - WINTER 2016 - Volume 5, Issue 1)

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It seems like it was just yesterday when I was informed that I had “volunteered” to be the senior editor of the Canadian Air Force Journal. It was the summer of 2008, and the previous senior editor, Lieutenant-Colonel Bill Lewis (now Colonel Lewis [Retired]), was moving on to greener pastures. Nine years and 30 issues later, it is time for me to hand over the reins of the, now, Royal Canadian Air Force Journal (RCAFJ). It has been one heck of a ride.

When the concept of establishing an air force journal was first floated within the halls of the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre (CFAWC) in 2007, I was a staunch supporter. I had read old volumes of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Roundel, grown up with the Canadian Forces’ Canadian Defence Quarterly, been a regular contributor to Air Command’s Roundel newspaper in the 1990s and am an avid reader of the Canadian Military Journal. However, the journal proposed by CFAWC would be something different. With a focus on air power, it would encourage and support the broader professional development of the national aerospace community from a Canadian perspective. In many ways, the Journal would be a throwback to the original Roundel, albeit with more academic and intellectual rigour. It was an exciting opportunity to be in on the ground floor of creating such a journal, and I doff my metaphorical “hat” to the senior air force officers who had the vision to create and sustain such a publication.

As in all the endeavours I have been a part of in my career, success is dependent upon the people I worked with. So my heartfelt appreciation for the efforts of the “crackerjack” CFAWC production team, both past and present, of Ernie Alkenbrack, Adri Boodoosingh, Cara Hunter, Denis Langlois, Luc Leroy, Lisa Moulton, Anne Pennington and Françoise Romard. You taught me a lot while graciously allowing me to think I was in charge. And a big thank you as well to Hope Smith and Chris Rodych for letting me bother you with questions about the mysteries of audiovisual technology and the World Wide Web (especially the intranet!!!).

During my tenure, I served five editors-in-chief: Colonel Jim Cottingham (Retired), Brigadier-General Mike Dabros (Retired), Major-General Derek Joyce, Colonel Martin Cournoyer (Retired) and Colonel Kelvin Truss. I appreciated your guidance and the confidence you placed in me to get the Journal out on your behalf. That I managed to do it for so long without getting any of you into trouble is no doubt as big a surprise to you as it was to me.

My last goodbye is to you, the readers. For when all is said and done, whether a publication like the RCAFJ thrives or withers on the vine is fundamentally due to its readership and their contributions. I have had the pleasure of reading every article, book review and letter that you have sent my way. With this in mind, given the quality, not to mention the quantity, of material that has crossed my desk, I am confident the Journal will continue to serve the RCAF for many years to come. And now for the last time on my watch …

Enjoy the read.

Sic Itur Ad Astra

Major William March, CD, MA

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