A dynamic career in the RCAF

News Article / March 12, 2021

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By Captain Rachel Brosseau

Corporal Kirandeep Braich is an Aviation Technician (AVN) with 1 Air Maintenance Squadron, based at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. She has worked on CF-18 Hornet in both a front line capacity where the main priority is the mission and in second line maintenance where periodic inspections for aircraft are conducted after every 600 hours of flying. As an AVN technician Cpl Braich has a broad skillset that is used in servicing, maintenance and troubleshooting, operating support equipment, inspections, aircraft functional checks, towing, marshalling, and paperwork for related systems.

The journey to become a qualified AVN tech is not a short path, but Cpl Braich soaked in every minute, encountering many unique experiences along the way. After basic training, she completed three years of continuous trade training from April 2016 to April 2019. “During that period, I completed four training courses which involved common core topics where you learn the basics, trades course, aircraft specific servicing course, and aircraft specific type course, she says. My training was fast paced, yet manageable at the same time.”

Since her posting to Cold Lake and working on CF-18s, Cpl Braich has been a part of first line missions, gone on temporary deployment, has had leadership opportunities from developing subordinates to leading a maintenance action, and hosting crew briefings. She has also been heavily involved in sports, including ice hockey, volleyball, and badminton, and also competed in the February 2020 Badminton Regionals hosted in Comox, British Columbia.

When asked what she enjoys about her trade, Cpl Braich answers: “I enjoy learning about all the internal systems of the aircraft, which helps me troubleshoot when we run into issues, and the rewards of making an aircraft serviceable. I enjoy the inclusivity and the whole dynamic of working with a respectful team. The opportunities available to advance your career within the Canadian Armed Forces [CAF] are abundant. The CAF has so many opportunities and some of them you wouldn’t imagine ever being a part of.”

“Outside of the day-to-day work environment, the CAF also provides many different volunteer opportunities which have been a big motivator for me,” says Cpl Braich. She and a colleague established the Bhangra Club at 4 Wing, where they act as coaches. Bhangra is a form of Indian dance that is popular in northern India. The duo has hosted Bhangra workshops and Bhangra aerobics workouts at the Colonel J.J. Parr Sports Centre and in the local community at the Cold Lake Energy Centre. With the ongoing pandemic, they have made the shift to offer virtual classes. Cpl Braich has also hosted physical training sessions for members using dance aerobics and participated in the Canadian Armed Forces’ Sports Day.

Outside of the CAF, Cpl Braich is the secretary for the Lakeland Multicultural Association (LMA), a local community group in Cold Lake. LMA brings and celebrates diversity in the Lakeland region by hosting multicultural events throughout the year.

To anyone thinking about joining the CAF, Cpl Braich says: “Being in the CAF comes with many challenges and opportunities which are not only rewarding, but also make you grow as a person. I never thought I would join the CAF because I didn’t think I belonged, but doing so was one of the best decisions I ever made as it made me stronger and part of the team.”

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