By Major Eric Martinat, Pilot and Operations Officer, 412 Training Squadron –
Several Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) On-The-Job Trainees (OJTs) from around the National Capital Region (NCR) paid a visit to 412 Transport Squadron (Sqn) at the Ottawa International Airport the week of 5-9 August 2019, in an initiative to expose them to the functions of an operational squadron. Many of the OJTs work in office settings in downtown Ottawa so this was an opportunity to smell, feel and touch real flying machines. 412 Sqn (in partnership with Transport Canada Air Services Directorate (TC ASD) Training Centre) was pleased to brief the group and have them tour the aircraft and facilities.
OJTs, as they await training, spend time between courses getting exposure to the various functions of the Air Force. While benefitting the OJTs, the employing RCAF units also benefit by having the OJTs, many of whom come from diverse backgrounds and some equipped with skills and abilities in demand at the squadron level. By employing OJTs at squadrons, the reciprocal benefits to the trainees and the squadrons cannot be understated.
After a briefing on 412 Sqn history and operations by Squadron Operations Officer Major Eric Martinat, Master Seaman Karen Boot, Cook and Flight Steward for 412 Sqn, provided a tour of the kitchen facilities that are used to provide their passengers with VIP service. Captain Kevin Smith, 412 Sqn Challenger CC144 pilot, led a tour of the TC ASD flight simulators where OJTs experienced Citation and King Air full motion simulators. The OJTs also toured the Challenger jets and gained an understanding of flight operations with VIP passengers on board. The tour concluded with conversation over lunch with 412 Sqn Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Al Merilainen before returning to their respective units.
The visit was initiated by LCol Jean-Pascal Paris, Director General Air Staff Lessons Learned Officer at NDHQ(Pearkes) and former Operations Officer at the Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa), and was a big hit among the attendees as many exclaimed how much they learned and how interesting and beneficial they found the experience.
Photo provided by 412 Sqn (Far Left: Capt Kevin Smith, Maj Eric Martinat, 2Lt John Maris, 2Lt Tim Carroll, Lt Alex Buffa, OCDT Ari Oceguera, 2Lt Scott McRae, 2Lt Michael de Grasse, 2Lt Kyle Gibbens, OCDT Marc Alexandre Belanger Fitzgerald, OCDT Ariane Libunao, Capt Patrick Robichaud, OCDT Neil Traynor, Capt Brennen Coristine, Capt Alexander Robinson, LCol Al Merilainen)
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