Local dignitaries and Canadian Forces' representatives gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program. The ceremony was held at the Combined Mess at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, where on-site Bombardier employees, sub-contract personnel and military students also took part.
Several speeches and presentations were made to testify to the unparalleled success achieved by this unique industry/government initiative. Speakers included the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance; Major General J.J.C. Bouchard, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division; the Honourable Deb Higgins, MLA Moose Jaw Wakamow; his Worship Mayor Al Schwinghamer; David Jurkowski, Vice-President Government Relations and Business Development, Bombardier Military Aviation Training; and John Cockburn of BAE Systems. Colonel Alain Boyer, Commander 15 Wing, emceed the event.
"The enthusiasm for NFTC is as strong today as it was on opening day, back in the year 2000", said David Jurkowski. "This program is recognized internationally within military circles as being the benchmark for military pilot training. Our relationship with the Canadian Forces is unique in its ability to deliver superior value. These five years speak for themselves," he concluded.
Major General Bouchard added his praise for the quality of the working relationship between industry members and the Canadian Forces. "The NATO Flying Training in Canada initiative is a shining example of how much can be accomplished when government and private industry work hand in hand, toward a common goal," said Major General Bouchard. "This is a world-class program, producing world-class fighter pilots."
Equipped with a fleet of 20 Hawk 115 and 26 Harvard II aircraft, NFTC students and instructors have now logged more than 100,000 flying hours in the five years of the program.
About NATO Flying Training in Canada
NATO Flying Training in Canada is a cooperative venture between the Government of Canada and Bombardier Military Aviation Training offering basic and advanced pilot training and fighter pilot lead-in training to NATO and other allied countries. The program's goal is to provide the most capable fighter pilot at the lowest total cost. To date, participating countries include Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Singapore, Italy, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.
In basic and advanced pilot training, students fly on the Harvard II and Hawk 115 aircraft at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Fighter lead-in training on the Hawk 115 takes place at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.
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