RCAF aircrews virtually prepared for Mali mission

CAE simulators helped Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-147F Chinook, CH-146 Griffon, and CC-130J Hercules aircrews currently supporting the United Nations Task Force in Mali to virtually experience the West African country before they embarked on the actual operational mission.

CAE created high-fidelity virtual databases of Mali so that RCAF aircrews could do pre-deployment training and mission rehearsal exercises prior to deploying on operations. CAE Image

RCAF CH-147F aircrews from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at Petawawa, Ont.; CH-146 aircrews from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton, Alta.; and CC-130J aircrews from 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.; all prepared for the mission in CAE-built full-mission simulators.

CAE developed a high-fidelity virtual database of Mali based on the Open Geospatial Consortium Common Database (OGC CDB) to be used in the CH-147F Chinook and CC-130J Hercules simulators, and a generic database of the Mali area for use in the CH-146 Griffon simulator. CAE also created highly-detailed and realistic virtual operational training areas. Instructors from CAE then worked closely with RCAF personnel to create lesson plans so aircrews could rehearse a range of missions, including aeromedical evacuation, in the virtual world.

“We knew Task Force Mali would be a very high tempo mission requiring our aircrews to be prepared and ready at a moment’s notice,” said Col Travis Morehen, Commander 1 Wing, RCAF.  “Simulation-based training is an invaluable tool in helping familiarize our aircrews with the operational environment and giving them the ability to practice and rehearse a variety of mission scenarios before actually having to perform these life-saving missions for real.”


“Simulation is an ideal tool for pre-deployment operation and mission rehearsal training because it gives aircrews the opportunity to safely and cost-effectively prepare for real-world operations in a virtual environment,” said Joe Armstrong, vice-president and general manager, CAE Canada.  “CAE is the RCAF’s training partner on all the aircraft platforms involved in Task Force Mali, and we bring a great deal of experience and expertise as a training systems integrator in being able to help the RCAF leverage its simulation-based training enterprise to support its operational missions.”

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