Note: Banner photo: Camp Mirage UAE, July 2003 - January 2004. Major McCarthy was the Tactical Airlift Commander for the Hercules aircraft detachment which flew in support of Op Athena in Afghanistan.
Major Kevin McCarthy joined the Canadian Forces in August of 1975 and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1979 with a degree in Engineering Physics. After completing Wings training in 1980 he was posted to CFB Cold Lake, Alberta as a Dakota and T-33 pilot with Base Flight. In 1983 he was transferred to 3CFFTS CFB Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and completed four years as a Flying Instructor on the Musketeer aircraft where he held positions as Senior Academic Instructor in Ground School and B Flight Commander. He was also awarded an A2 Instructor Rating during this tour.
In 1987 Major McCarthy was assigned to 424 Squadron in Trenton, Ontario as a Search and Rescue pilot on the Buffalo aircraft. He also completed assignments as the Squadron Administration and Flight Safety Officer during this time. In 1990 he was selected as an Aircraft Accident Investigator with the Directorate of Flight Safety at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Completing training with Cranfield University in the UK, the USAF and the University of Southern California he participated in several accident investigations ranging from Air Cadet gliders and tow planes to the investigation into the crash of Boxtop 22, a Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft at Alert, Nunavut in October 1991.
In 1993 he was selected for posting to 412 Squadron in Ottawa as VVIP pilot where he flew the Challenger aircraft. Following promotion to Major in July 1994 he was assigned to the Canadian Forces Recruit School in St Jean, Quebec as Deputy Commandant. In 1996 Major McCarthy returned to the Directorate of Flight Safety in Ottawa, Ontario for an additional four years as an Aircraft Accident Investigator following which he was selected to attend the Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto, Ontario.
In 2001 Major McCarthy returned to Trenton, Ontario to fly the Hercules aircraft with 429 Squadron. On this assignment he served as Squadron Operations Officer and Deputy Commanding Officer as well as completing a six month tour to Operation Athena in the Persian Gulf as the Tactical Airlift Commander as part of Canada‘s efforts in the war against terrorism. He was awarded the South West Asia Service Medal as well as the General Service Medal for this deployment.
In 2005 he returned to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario to serve at the Directorate of Air Requirements in the Program Coordination section responsible for oversight and coordination for all Air Force capital equipment acquisition programs. After three years he was selected for service at the NORAD Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado with the J8 Capability Development Division. His work primarily involved ensuring NORAD’s voice was heard in the CF capital equipment acquisition programs.
In 2010 he transferred to the Air Force Reserve and began service with the Directorate of Contracted Force Generation with the Chief of the Air Staff again at NDHQ as part of the effort to identify the needs of Canada’s aircrew training system following the expiration of the NATO Flying Training in Canada program.
In 2014 he retired from the Canadian Forces completing over 38 years of service to Canada.
Major McCarthy is married to the former Donna Beckett of Ottawa, Ontario and they are blessed with four children - all of whom have flown the coop. They are currently enjoying the benefits of being empty nesters and grandparents in Kanata, Ontario.