In a rare ceremony at CFB Trenton, the RCAF stood up an historic squadron for the fifth time in its history and created enhanced capability to get the most out of its aircraft. The famed 434 “Bluenose” Squadron will be headquartered in Trenton as the Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron. It will bring under one command five existing to two newn OT&E flights deployed at bases across the country. Those flights will continue to work within their own communities. “The amalgamation of the RCAF’s Test & Evaluation Flights under one unit and the implementation of a new air test and evaluation governance system, supports the establishment of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre as a change-driver and enabler,” said Lt. Col. Graham Edwards, the new squadron’s commanding officer. “434 Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron will, through the execution of prioritized command driven test and evaluation, ensure the RCAF has the operational capability to address the air power challenges of today and the future.”
434 Squadron was formed as a bomber squadron during the Second World War and transitioned to jet fighters for the Cold War. It got its nickname from the depiction of Lunenburg’s most famous ship on its crest. The squadron moved to Canada in 1992 and served in a variety of roles at two Maritimes bases until 2002 when it was disbanded. Its colours were placed in All Saints Cathedral in Halifax and adopted by the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre (RAWC) in Trenton, the overall command authority for the new squadron.