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A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, June 14, 2019, at 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ont., to officially open the Mission Training Centre (MTC), a digital battleground that will train the next generation of aerospace controllers and aerospace control operators.
The MTC provides high fidelity simulations of the radar, radios, and data links encountered in the Canadian air defense sector (CADS). Advanced exercise generation software will deliver scenarios tailored for individuals, small groups, or full mission crews. Network connectivity will allow operators to train with other RCAF fleets, jointly with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army, and even with international partners, building the basic individual and team skills needed to become effective warfighters, all from their home units.
“This is an occasion to be proud of for 22 Wing,” said Col Mark Roberts, 22 Wing Commander. “This state-of-the-art command and control training center is a shining example of what innovative thinking and a can-do, team approach can accomplish. This leading edge technology will facilitate cyber, datalink, and operational training and better position CADS and the RCAF to face current and emerging threats.”
The MTC allows operators to build critical skills needed to deliver the tactical command and control (C2) functions of battle management, air surveillance, combat identification, interface control, and weapons control.
Applications for the MTC include deployment spin-up, tactics development, initial qualification training, and participation in international synthetic exercises such as Coalition Virtual Flag.
“Although the concept of an MTC is not new, what makes the 22 Wing MTC innovative and uniquely Canadian is the Modelling and Simulation Coordination Office branch of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre’s virtualisation of the battle control system, which enables the realistic environment that will allow us to train the students within 51 Squadron to the same standard as other sectors within NORAD,” explained LCol Marc Bouchard, from the RCAF Modelling and Simulation Coordination Office. “This is important for the AEC community, but the MTC is also designed to be the Canadian aerospace command and control presence in international synthetic exercises such as Coalition Virtual Flag, which is a huge step in making the RCAF an LVC-capable Air Force.”
“I am extremely proud of the members of 51 Squadron and humbled by the enthusiastic support from personnel from 22 Wing Mission Support Squadron,” said Maj Brenda Tinsley, 51 AC & W (OT) Squadron Commanding Officer. “The MTC is the future of training, part of the international evolution towards high fidelity simulation that trains efficiently and effectively. In order for this project to become a reality, it took the combined efforts of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre (RAWC) Modelling and Simulation team who brought us into the synthetic domain; 51 Squadron, who designed the space to be the ultimate command and control training centre; and the entire Mission Support Squadron, who took great ideas and brought them to impressive reality. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of this initiative and this team.”
In addition to 25 operator workstations, the MTC also contains dedicated areas for mission planning and debriefing, plus space for a “White Cell” — the group of individuals overseeing training to ensure realism and keep scenarios on script.
The MTC unveiling comes at an exciting time for the RCAF as we celebrate the 95th anniversary; pride in our past accomplishments, highlighting our current capabilities and achievements, and outlining our goals for the future.
The MTC supports the strong, secure, engaged defence policy by increasing domestic interoperability, building capacity with alliance partners, and adopting new technologies and methods to transform the way people are employed.
The MTC could not have been possible without the support of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre (RAWC), 1 Canadian Air Division, and the countless hours invested by the dedicated members of 22 Wing.