Friday, February 16, 2007

TOP STORY >> Canadians learn C-130J training tactics

By Senior Airman Tim Bazar
314th Airlift Wing Strategic Information Flight

More than a dozen Canadian Forces officials, aircrew and maintainers made the journey to the Home of the Herk recently to learn about the training programs of Little Rock Air Force Base’s newest airlifter, the C-130J. Officials from the Canadian Air Forces Project Management Office and other facets of C-130 programs teamed up with members of the 48th Airlift Squadron for a week to learn about the way the U.S. handles C-130J training and to answer questions about the J-model.

Canada has already made arrangements to purchase 17 C-130Js from Lockheed Martin and is now in the planning and preparation stage for training programs. Canadian officials are interested in learning about the training systems used at Little Rock and will prepare a training needs analysis after their visit, said Maj. Derek Miller, with the Canadian Air Forces Project Management Office who acts as operational requirements manager for the Airlift Capability Tactical Project.

“We want to take a snapshot of the training requirements involved with the C-130J back with us to begin developing a training program for our new J-models,” said Major Miller. “We plan to use the knowledge gained here as a model for training C-130J crews and maintainers in Canada.” Currently, the Canadian air force has 32 C-130s — E and H models — which they use in tactical operations, search and rescue missions and aerial refueling.

“Our fleets have begun to show signs of age and we’re ready to trade up to a digital airframe,” said Major Miller. “It’s time to gear up for future operations and the C-130J will help us meet and exceed defense demands of the future.” “The more maintenance you have to apply to an aircraft, the less time it spends in the air where we need it,” said Canadian Chief Warrant Officer Paul Lilley, ACTP program officer who procures training devices and courseware. “The new airframe will have less downtime and provide Canada with the capabilities needed to get the job done.

An added bonus to purchasing the same airframe as their allies is the interoperability between the U.S. and Canada in a deployed environment, said Major Miller. Since the two countries will share a common knowledge of the C-130J, aircrews and maintainers can work more closely while deployed to accomplish the mission.

In addition to the C-130J, the Canadian Forces are also looking to C-17s to help alleviate future operational needs.


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