Aerospace Systems Course

The aim of the Aerospace Systems Course (ASC) is to produce technically competent Air Force officers with broad-based knowledge in science and technology, military industrial capability, critical analysis skills and defense acquisition methodologies.

The course curriculum provides graduates with a broad spectrum of expertise, thus enabling them to cope with tasks such as:

The course instruction consists of traditional classroom instruction by instructors, industry experts and guest lecturers. These are supplemented with exercises using the ASC modelling and simulation facilities, syndicate work and independent research. As well, the course conducts three separate tours each year to various government and industrial complexes inCanada, theUnited Statesand overseas. A key component of the course is the development of effective communication skills. Throughout the course, students will be given many opportunities to develop the ability to express themselves logically and concisely on operational and technical matters, both verbally and in writing.

The optimum course load is 12 officers, at the Captain or Major rank level, with a surge capability to 16 students.

The ASC is open to applicants from a variety of classifications. These classifications include:

The ASC is directed to applicants with a strong academic background. They should have at least an undergraduate university degree or equivalent, preferably a degree in engineering or a related science.Strong English communication skills (both written and verbal) are a mandatory prerequisite. Applicants shall have prior training or certification that attests to their ability to conduct thorough research and analysis of a topic and to prepare clear, logically written reports. There is also a requirement for proficiency in English and an A2 VISA for visits to the United States. In addition to the undergraduate degree requirement, the course prerequisites are as follows:

Mandatory pre-course qualifications

In addition to the selection criteria above, the following qualifications or proof of equivalency are required prior to attendance on the ASC:

Waivers of the above selection criteria and pre-course qualifications may be granted by the training facility on a case-by-case basis. In the event that an international candidate receives a waiver for the above courses, a self-study package on the applicable topic will be made available to the candidates for personal study and completion.

The following proof of training is required for acceptance on the Operational Test and Evaluation phase of the course:

Candidates are strongly urged to complete this training at their home nation as these courses are seldom available in Canada.

Candidates are required to complete a pre-course study package prior to course commencement to prepare themselves for the academic demands of the training. The study package is usually distributed to the candidates approximately 90 days before the start of the course.

In addition, the course members are exposed to technology in context. A cornerstone of the Aerospace Systems Course is the Military Industrial Visits, which allow course members to better grasp the operational requirements of a modern air force, as well as gain a greater understanding of industry capabilities and methods.This training also includes:

The systems acquisition and management portion of the course offers a variety of subjects related to the full spectrum of activities, including: design, acquisition, testing and upgrading of aerospace systems. The training is conducted through classroom lectures, syndicate exercises, practice tests and evaluation flights, guest lectures and a two-week Operational Test and Evaluation course conducted at the United States Navy Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, MD. The management subjects are as follows:

The ability to communicate technical information is considered an essential skill for the ASC. Course members are provided direct instruction and for the capstone project, each student will write a short research paper on a specific aerospace technology. Normally, this paper will have an emphasis on the technology’s applicability to a current Air Force issue. Sponsor organizations are invited to suggest topics for these research papers. Final paper topics are presented at the end-course Aerospace Power Review, a two-day showcase of student work and varied topical experts and speakers.

Officers with the ASC qualification will be able to perform aerospace systems analysis studies from an operational and technical point of view. They will be able to define general technical requirements for complete aerospace weapons systems, participate in the project management and evaluation of military aerospace equipment during the research and development, acquisition, test and operational phases. Therefore, they may be assigned to aerospace systems engineering or project management appointments in a headquarters environment, research and development, test and evaluation or aerospace systems training unit.

Course length is 210 training days, or approximately ten months. It is offered once per annum, and commences in the August timeframe and finishes in June the following year.

The ASC is conducted at 17 Wing, at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies (CFSAS) in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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