By Capt Jim Kelly, CFSATE
On Wednesday, November 1st, 21 Grade 9 students descended upon 16 Wing for the annual Take Your Kids to Work Day. This is an annual event across Canada to give kids a chance to see what their parents do at work and to start them thinking about possible future career choices.
The group was hosted by the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE), and began their day with a short video about the school, followed by some refreshments to give them some extra energy for the morning activities. While they were still full of sugar, they had the opportunity for some "glory" photos in the cockpit of a CF-18 Hornet aircraft. That was all one of them needed to spark a career as an Air Force fighter pilot! Photographer Master Corporal Guy Lavoie did a great job capturing the excitement in all the kids' faces. The group carried on with a tour of the Labrador helicopter, constructed working hydraulic systems and played the biggest video game some of them ever saw, the Aircraft Marshalling Simulator! Thanks to Master Corporal Mark Wilson, Mr Denis Mainville and Mr Réjean Nadon.
After lunch, we dropped in on 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and were given an excellent welcome and operational briefing by Second Lieutenant Krista Cascun. She related some of her military experiences so far, her education at the Royal Military College, and her goal to fly the Griffon once she receives her pilot wings. The kids really enjoyed her witty and fast-paced presentation. This was followed by a tour of the Griffon helicopter where, once again, the kids got to sit in the cockpit of a real aircraft. Flight Engineer, Master Corporal Mike Hiltz told them everything they wanted to know about the various roles and missions of the squadron and answered their seemingly unending questions about the Griffon helicopter. Many thanks to Krista and Mike for hosting us!
We returned to CFSATE for a tour of the Aircraft Structures training workshops. The kids were totally amazed by all the really cool equipment and all the widgets and doohickeys that could be made with the various machines and tools. Master Corporal Jim Cooney gave an excellent tour, again answering an unending barrage of questions!
Our day ended with a short demonstration of the digital and video equipment by the Imagery Technician Training section. Master Corporal Paul MacGregor explained the operation of the equipment and told the kids about his "around the globe" experiences in the Combat Camera organization. The kids were amazed by the stories, and even more so by the cost of the digital camera they got to hold! The last person in line was very careful to ensure that the camera was safely back in Sergeant Cynthia Molyneaux's hands before letting go of it!
Here ended a day full of exciting things at 16 Wing, 400 Squadron and CFSATE. The kids really enjoyed the day (especially since they got a day off from school), but most importantly, gained an appreciation of how the Air Force trains technicians and aircrew to do their jobs in the Canadian Forces.
Many thanks to all staff members who were involved in this important event, especially my second in command, Sergeant Rob Taylor who organized about 99 percent of the day!