1 Wing partners with Canadian Army to train 10 new Tactical Flight Leads

21 September 2022 — Royal Canadian Air Force

Lt Frédérique Rousseau, Public Affairs Officer at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

Earlier this year, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) 1 Wing successfully qualified eight CH-146 Griffon pilots and two CH-147F Chinook pilots in the roles of Tactical Flight Leads after their flight phase at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa, Ontario.

The Basic Tactical Aviation Course (BTAC) Series 2201, planned and conducted by the 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (438 Tac Hel Sqn), began with remote training, followed by an academic residency at 438 Tac Hel Sqn and a flight phase of four weeks in CFB Petawawa. BTAC candidates learn various tactical aviation tactics, techniques, and procedures. They must also learn 1 Wing standard operating procedures, so that all tactical aviation units across Canada operate in a standardized manner. In order to ensure the smooth running of the BTAC, approximately 120 members from across all 1 Wing units take part in the BTAC.

This year, the flying phase took place at CFB Petawawa from March 14 to April 10, 2022. CFB Petawawa offers the necessary ingredients for the conduct of such high-level training exercises, such as access to training ranges for both air and land manoeuvres. Multiple Petawawa units collaborated with 438 THS to create realistic scenarios for course candidates. Nearly 160 members from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment/2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery/The Royal Canadian Dragoons), the Canadian Special Operations Regiment and 1 Canadian Field Hospital have brought realism to the scenarios, which is essential to the smooth running of the BTAC. On top of supporting realistic scenarios, these units took advantage of the helicopter support to train their own personnel. Here are some examples of possible scenarios thanks to the support of the Canadian Army: troop inserts and extracts, convoy escorts, artillery gun transports, close combat attacks, evacuations of wounded (CASEVAC), etc.

The helicopters logged 395 flight hours over the training areas of CFB Petawawa and Pembroke airport. The exceptional work of the technicians, who carried out unparalleled and meticulous maintenance on each aircraft, was able to ensure the safety of flight crews, soldiers and citizens.

Lieutenant-Colonel Stéphane St-Onge, commander of 438 THS and BTAC 2201, would like to highlight the excellent work and professionalism of all the members who participated in BTAC 2201 and the unconditional support of CFB Petawawa. This training is part of the Force Generation of 1 Wing, which continues to train its members to be operational and ready to serve Canada and its people, which BTAC 2201 successfully accomplished this spring in Petawawa.

Helicopter flying over a field while soldiers are training.
Caption

Members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment participate in a Basic Tactical Aviation Course scenario at BFC Petawawa, on April 4, 2022.

Photo credit: MCpl Laura Landry, Image Tech at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

Image gallery

A helicopter hovers over a field where soldiers are training.
Caption

Members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment participate in a Basic Tactical Aviation Course scenario at BFC Petawawa, on April 4, 2022.

Photo credit: MCpl Laura Landry, Image Tech at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

A helicopter closely hovers over a field, some military equipment and four soldiers.
Caption

The 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is working with 1 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force on a Basic Tactical Aviation Course scenario at CFB Petawawa, on March 25,  2022.

Photo credit: MCpl Laura Landry, Image Tech at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

Two helicopters flying, hauling military equipment.
Caption

The 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is working with 1 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force on a Basic Tactical Aviation Course scenario at CFB Petawawa, on March 25,  2022.

Photo credit: MCpl Laura Landry, Image Tech at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

Two soldiers walking on a snow-dusted field toward a landed helicopter.
Caption

Two members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment participate in a Basic Tactical Aviation Course scenario at BFC Petawawa, on March 28, 2022.

Photo credit: MCpl Laura Landry, Image Tech at 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

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