Royal Canadian Air Force welcomes new pilots at 15 Wing

News Article / July 29, 2016

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Major Jennifer Stadnyk

Five newly promoted Royal Canadian Air Force pilots received their pilot “wings” from Lieutenant-General Pierre St-Amand, NORAD deputy commander, on July 15, 2016, at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

The new military pilots graduated from Phase III of the NATO Flying Training in Canada program (the Advanced Flying Training phase), conducted at 2 Canadian Forces Flight Training School in Moose Jaw.

Lieutenant-General St-Amand congratulated new pilots Lieutenant Dylan MacEachern, Lieutenant Joshua Taylor, Lieutenant Steavon Taylor, Lieutenant Nathanael Teeple and Lieutenant Gregory Watson on their successes to date, and reminded them that while they have worked very hard to get to this point, there is much training still to go.

“Now that you have your 'wings',” he said, “you belong to a select group and you follow in the footsteps of thousands of airmen and women who, since the First World War, have brought honour to the RCAF. We’re going to ask you to become so good that flying really will become second nature, and your primary mission will be to conduct missions in the defence of your country.”

Every year, some 2,000 men and women apply to become military pilots in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but only 30 will earn their pilot’s “wings”. These five graduates represent that 1.5 per cent of those who dream of one day flying for the RCAF.

15 Wing commander Colonel Alex Day said it was a proud moment for him to be at this particular graduation ceremony – his last as wing commander.

“For my last ‘wings’ graduation parade as commander of 15 Wing, it was an honour to have Lieutenant-General St-Amand as the parade reviewing officer,” he said. “To have the deputy commander of NORAD present as new pilots receive their wings shows just how important these graduates are to the Canadian Armed Forces and our allies. I am extremely proud to have been part of the team that has prepared them so well to meet the operational demands that they will see throughout their careers.”

The graduates, each of whom has completed about 200 hours of ground school, 60 hours in flight simulators and 160 hours flying the CT-156 Harvard II aircraft, have all been selected to move on to the Phase IV Hawk Transition course – more advanced fighter pilot training on the CT-155 Hawk in Moose Jaw.

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