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The Royal Canadian Air Force has finally settled on a name for its new fixed-wing search and rescue fleet. The first of the planes from Airbus arrived in Comox, B.C., on Friday. The new fleet will be called Kingfisher, according to the RCAF.
“Within the First Nations of the Northwest, the kingfisher has long been recognized for its speed and agility, as well as its keen searching and hunting skills,” the RCAF noted in a news release. “Found all across Canada, the kingfisher well represents the abilities of our own search and rescue crews to accomplish their lifesaving role.”
The RCAF first consulted the operational search and rescue community which came up with 10 names, later narrowed down to five. After that, the public was asked to vote on the names. Around 33,000 people voted. Another 1,600 comments were left on various RCAF social media sites. The RCAF then went back to its search and rescue personnel for more consultation.
The RCAF published the five names that were considered and an explanation for each name:
CANSO II: Canso aircraft served with 11 RCAF squadrons during the Second World War. They operated from both coasts and were employed in coastal patrols, convoy protection and submarine hunting. After the Second World War, Cansos served with the RCAF in photo reconnaissance and search and rescue roles until they were finally retired in November 1962.
GUARDIAN: A guardian is an entity that protects a community under a set of values.
IRIS: Iris refers to the faculty or power of seeing. Iris was also the goddess of sea and sky in ancient Greek mythology.
KINGFISHER: Found all across Canada, this bird patrols up and down rivers, constantly searching for prey. Within the First Nations of the Northwest, the kingfisher has long been recognized for its speed and agility, as well as its keen searching and hunting skills. A kingfisher was depicted on the 1986 Canadian five-dollar banknote in the “Birds of Canada” series.
TURNSTONE: Turnstones are one of the migratory marvels of the Arctic bird world. They have been known to fly more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) in a single day.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020