Sunday, May 11, 2008

15 Wing under attack (sort of)

Interesting Air Force training (via Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs):
15 Wing Moose Jaw was attacked by a squadron of CF-18s on Thursday.

The CF-18 squadron — on transit from Bagotville, Que., to Cold Lake, Alta. — was participating in an airfield mock attack, which was planned as a motivational exercise for the student pilots presently going through the NATO Flying Training in Canada program (NFTC).

The CF-18s simulated disabling the wing’s fuel supply, the runways and the control tower in four circuits around the 15 Wing airfield. Many of the students and personnel from the wing watched as the aircraft flew attack patterns around the airfield.

“In the air everything is serious, even during training missions,” said Maj. Paul Doyle who flew with the squadron.

After the mock attack, the squadron, which included Doyle, Capt. Corey Mask, Capt. Larry Gojla and Capt. Dave McCloud, held a debriefing for the students of the NFTC.

Those attending the debriefing, which was like a recruitment seminar, were told the capabilities of the CF-18, two-engine, single seat fighter and the multiple roles the aircraft is capable of handling during times of war, acting as a fighter jet, a bomber or both.

“Even with a damaged wing or tail these planes are capable of flying as the computers inside compensate for any distress placed on the plane,” said Gojla.

The students were told about the roles of a fighter pilot, whose No. 1 job is the defence of North America through NORAD operations, any NATO commitments and general purpose combat capabilities.

The squadron was en route to Cold Lake to participate in an advanced [international] aerial combat training exercise [MAPLE FLAG--lots here] which simulates war time conditions and puts the fighter pilots through training that gives them valuable combat experience.

The exercise itself occurs annually over a six-week period.

“This is where we are evaluated, we test weapons, our pilots and our crews to make sure everyone is ready when we need them to be,” said Doyle.
Here's a flight simulator for Cold Lake Hornets.

Update: MAPLE FLAG news here; six CF-18s recently in Exercise Red Flag-Alaska.


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