Vanguard Magazine

Jun/Jul 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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T TRAining 36 JUNE/JULY 2015 CAliAn And ThE AiR FORCE dEliVER A MOdERn MOdEl FOR TRAining Technicians: by Chris Thatcher "None of this will be here," Captain Luc Blanchette says with a sweeping ges- ture as he looks out across a shop floor of Tutor aircraft as a few student techni- cians and instructors lean over engines and adjust wiring consoles. The Canadair CT-114 Tutor might provide hands-on insight into the inner workings of an aircraft, but it is not the most practical way to train the Royal Canadian Air Forces' next generation of aircraft engineers and technicians. For one, the former primary RCAF jet pilot trainer is over 50 years old and was never built to be pried and prodded as a training aid; ironically, it often has to be fixed before students can practise fixing it. For another, it is hardly representative of the state-of-the-art electronics and engine systems coming into service in F-model Chinooks and F-35 fighter jets. "Aircraft actually make the worst training aids," Blanchette jokes as he surveys the hanger floor at Canadian Forces Base Borden. "You want something that looks like an aircraft, but with panels that you can open 50 times a day. Some of these we have to retrofit because the fasteners have bored out." Instead, he envisions in the not-too-distance future a floor of part-task train- ers and modules for engines, rotors and weapons, networked to an overarching training management system that is all part of a blended approach to e-learning and practical experience catered to the needs of the individual student. It might sound like a leap but, actually, the air force is already part way there. Blanchette is the senior training advisor at the Canadian Forces School of Aero- space Technology and Engineering (CFSATE). From a series of buildings and hangars in a corner of the sprawling Borden base, he leads a small unit known as the Training Innovation Cell and is the task manager on a project called Air Technician Training Renewal (ATTR). In line with the RCAF Simulation Strategy 2025, which aims to deliver all air force training in a more effective, efficient and smarter manner, the ATTR is a first step to transform most of the abinitio technician training for everything from aviation systems to avionics, weapons and aircraft structures into an e-learning environment. The nexT generaTion air

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