419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron

MOOSA ASWAYITA "Beware of the moose" Significance: The moose, representing the squadron's nickname, is a fierce fighter indigenous to Canada. The motto is in Cree.

419 Squadron was originally formed at Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall, Suffolk, England in December 1941. It was an active member of 3 Group RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War and completed numerous missions with Wellington, Halifax and Lancaster bombers. At the end of the war the unit’s aircraft were flown back to Canada and the squadron was disbanded.

Reactivated in March 1954, 419 Squadron began it’s second era, now as an all-weather fighter squadron flying the CF-100 Canuck. This continued until the squadron was once again disbanded in December 1962.

The squadron’s third life commenced in December 1970, when 419 began to relocate to Cold Lake, Alberta as No. 1 Canadian Forces Flight Training School. They initially flew the T-33 Silver Star but then transitioned to the CF-5 Freedom Fighter. The squadron reached active duty in November 1975 but disbanded again 20 years later with the retirement of the CF-5 in June 1995.

419 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron was reactivated a fourth time on 23 July 2000. The squadron conducted Phase IV of the NATO Flying Training Canada (NFTC) program for the air forces of Canada, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. This program trained basic jet pilots to become fighter pilots and prepared them for training on CF-188 class aircraft through instruction in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat tactics over a six-month period.

On March 8, 2024, 419 Squadron formally ceased operations, as the NFTC contact with CAE Inc. came to an end and the CT-155 Hawk fleet was retired. As part of the overall transition to the F-35, the RCAF is transiting to the Bridge Fighter Lead-In Training (BFLIT) program, which will see Canadian fighter pilots conduct their lead-in training in the United States, Finland and Italy until the 2030s. However, 419 Squadron will remain administratively active, and will reactivate in the future with a new next-generation trainer aircraft and repatriate fighter training to Canada.

The complete squadron history can be found on the Department of National Defence's Directorate of History and Heritage webpage.

419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron
4 Wing/CFB Base Cold Lake
PO Box 6550 Stn Forces
Cold Lake AB T9M 2C6

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