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Royal Canadian Air Force complete training at WADS

Squadrons destined to work in Canadian Air Defense

Members of the 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron, 22 Wing. From left to right, Capt. Matthew Greenwood, 2nd Lt. Jonah Dyke, 2nd Lt. Darren Ashton, 2nd Lt. Chelsea Doyle and Capt. Andrew Lawton. Courtesy photo

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The Western Air Defense Sector hosted 11 air battle managers of the Royal Canadian Air Force for a five-week period this fall in order to complete their qualification training. The air battle managers were deployed from 3 Wing and 22 Wing of the RCAF.

The 51 Aerospace Control and Warning (Operational Training) Squadron is a RCAF unit based at the 22 Wing at Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ontario.  The squadron is responsible for the operations and readiness training for RCAF personnel destined to work in the Canadian Air Defense Sector executing the NORAD mission.

The 12 Radar Squadron is part of 3 Wing located in Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Quebec.  The 12 RS is a mobile control and report unit executing the tactical control and surveillance of air operations from any location as assigned by the 1 Canadian Air Division/NORAD Canadian Region.  The 12 RS is used to support national sovereignty missions, NORAD operations and exercises, smuggling interdiction operations and expeditionary mission in support of the Government of Canada's national interests. The unit is a 24/7 deployable Mobile Control and Reporting Unit (MCRU).

The WADS has hosted over 50 RCAF air battle managers over the years by providing critical live and Distributed Mission Operations -- virtual battlespace linking a wide array of high fidelity flight and mission crew simulators -- in order for new Canadian aerospace controllers to be qualified, according to Canadian Lt. Col. Michael Fawcett, WADS Canadian Detachment commanding officer.

The Western Air Defense Sector is headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  Staffed by active-duty Washington Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces detachment, the unit supports the NORAD integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) homeland defense mission. WADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the western United States and directs a variety of assets to defend 2.2 million square miles of land and sea. The Canadian detachment supports the WADS operations in areas such as surveillance, identification and fighter aircraft control.

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