402 Squadron

402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron is a dynamic, multi-dimensional aircrew training facility whose mission is to generate wings qualified Air Combat Systems Officers and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators to support Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) operations at home and abroad.

402 Squadron's tasks include the conduct of both Air Combat Systems Officer (ACSO) and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator (AESOp) ab-initio training, the maintenance and management of the Squadron's four CT-142 Dash-8 aircraft, and the operational training of Dash-8 aircrew, instructors, and aircraft technicians. 402 Squadron also provides maintenance support to transient aircraft servicing for visiting and transiting military aircraft. 402 Squadron is a "Total Force" Squadron, comprising a mixture of both Regular Force and Air Reserve personnel. The 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron Pipes and Drums is a volunteer military band, and is a popular attraction at national and international events across North America.

Utilizing the CT-142 ‘Gonzo’, a DeHavilland Dash-8 modified specifically for aircrew training, and a state-of-the-art simulator, 402 Squadron trains aircrew to perform the spectrum of functions from sensor operations through routine navigation to tactical mission management. While the focus of ACSO and AESOp aircrew training differs, the 402 Squadron approach and training methodologies do not. All courses comprise academic, practical and applied components using classrooms, trainers, and flights. The classroom portion of all courses covers such topics as air regulations, aircraft systems, emergencies and basic navigation/communication. ACSO training builds upon these fundamentals and develops today’s airborne tactical officer, responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing a wide range of operational missions. AESOp training, using the same basics, focuses on developing the skill sets required of sensor operators able to operate the advanced sensor systems found on modern aircraft.

All students apply the knowledge learned in the classroom in a ground-based trainer called the Tactical Mission Trainer (TMT). This leading edge trainer incorporates the latest in computer technology and is specifically designed to develop mission management and tactical direction skills. Not only does the TMT provide realistic training in navigation, communication, sensor operation and tactics/mission management; it has the capability for post-mission analysis, allows for future improvements to the syllabus with software modifications, and is flexible enough to cater to any equipment changes that may be made to the actual aircraft. The TMT database includes ground-based navigation aids and digital-terrain-mapping capabilities for all of North America, which allows for the flexibility to conduct ACSO and AESOp training anywhere on the continent.

The CT-142 ‘Gonzo’ training compartment has six consoles, which allows for an instructor to student ratio of 2:4. This personalized level of instruction optimizes the student’s learning environment as they manage navigation and communication systems, perform the myriad of tasks associated with routine and degraded navigation, as well as direct tactical missions. The aircraft training suite is an airborne version of the TMT, which allows for a seamless transition between ground-based and airborne training.

402 Squadron’s recognition as a world-class training facility has been growing over the past few years. The advancements in aircrew training and focus implemented at 402 Squadron have attracted many of our Allies to train their ‘navigators’ here. Students from Australia, Germany, Norway, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and South Korea have all undergone or are undergoing navigator training at 402 Squadron. The future looks bright with ongoing foreign navigator training and with expansions into marketing sensor operator aircrew training


The squadron lineage, badge, motto, standard and battle honours can be found on the Department of National Defence's Directorate of History and Heritage webpage.

402 Squadron
17 Wing Winnipeg
P.O. Box 17000 Station Forces
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 3Y5

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