Back to News Front

Canadians embed at McChord Field

Canadian airmen train in the C-17s

It was a cold morning at McChord Field Dec. 20, 2013, at-home conditions for Canadians training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Sean Tobin

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

You may know that the Royal Canadian Air Force partners with the United States Air Force to protect continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command and that they are responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program, but did you know they also share officers with the USAF through an exchange program?

Capt. Trevor Lanoue, who attended the Royal Military College in Ontario, was commissioned in 2009 and began his career training on the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III for the next four years. His affinity for the aircraft led him to look into what his next move could be ... and how he could get more time in the C-17 world.

In July, he was given the chance to become an exchange officer and relocate to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, McChord Field for a three-year assignment with the 62nd Airlift Wing, home to almost 50 permanently assigned C-17s.

To apply for the exchange program, candidates must submit to a background screening, meet certain medical requirements and speak with a social worker prior to being selected. While there aren't any language barriers or cultural divides to overcome, there are a few small differences in how things are run between the two military systems.

"The Canadian Air Force is so much smaller, so there are differences in command and control, but luckily the airframe of the C-17 is universal and standardized through Boeing, so the operation of the aircraft is the same," Lanoue said. "However, I've learned all these new things about the C-17.

That intense focus on one particular military transport aircraft is exactly why Lanoue applied to be an exchange officer.

"In Canada, military members will typically rotate to another aircraft within a year ... but here we have the chance to stay and learn more and more about the C-17," Lanoue explained. "At the end of this tour, I'll have a full seven years with this airframe and that's unusual."

The other officer had trained at McChord Field previously for an exercise and he knew he wanted to return and embed with the 62d AW.

"I wanted to learn things to help improve our C-17 program, which was relatively new at that time," explained RCAF Warrant Officer David Daly, who has been with the 62d AW since 2010 and was recently granted an additional year with the American unit.

The Canadian airmen are part of the 62d AW in every way, from day-to-day routines, training and even deployments.

"We've been training with them for local deployments and global airlift missions and it's helped to build strong bonds," Daly stated.

Daly began training on the C-17 in 2006, having previously flown the Lockheed C-130 Hercules earlier in his career. He has been on three deployments with the 62d AW and a part of numerous humanitarian missions in his time on McChord Field.

"The exchange program allows countries that work very closely together to build relations and standardize procedures for future operations when the forces work together on a mission," stated Lanoue, who will go on his first USAF deployment in May. "This has just been a great opportunity to be a part of their operation. I look forward to the rest of my time here."

Read next close

We Recommend

Friday, Jan. 3: The Mama Rags

comments powered by Disqus