4 Wing Cold Lake, Canada's largest and busiest fighter wing and site of a number of exciting training opportunities.
4 Wing - with its focus on people, leadership, innovation and technology - is an international centre of excellence for tactical fighter operations, leading-edge technology, and deployable combat support.
This fighter wing is made up of two operational CF-18 squadrons, two training squadrons, and a host of first-rate support units. The Wing is proud to be host to Phase IV of NATO Flying in Canada (NFTC), a training program that contributes to making NATO a strong fighting force.
Some of the best and most sought after amenities in the world, including an almost unrestricted 1.17 million hectare air weapons range equipped with state-of-the-art threats and targets; a vast array of support facilities; an annual, international air combat exercise called Maple Flag - these are just a few of the reasons 4 Wing Cold Lake is a leading, world-class centre for coalition training.
Training assets and opportunities that are unmatched.
- Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) Capability and are ready to provide Canada and her friends and allies with national and international AEF training opportunities. Air Expeditionary Unit (AEU) Base Camp includes an AEU Command Centre, field kitchens, mess tents, ablution facilities, as well as medical, supply, and engineering facilities. International partners are invited to exercise their expeditionary capabilities at 4 Wing by making use of the base's vast space and the expertise of its personnel.
- Stadium-sized hangars can accommodate virtually all aircraft types used in training operations.
- Three large runways and a vast amount of ramp space make large-scale operations and training exercises at 4 Wing a rewarding experience. 4 Wing can host more than 220 fighter-sized airframes, and provide take off and landing options for almost any type of aircraft.
- On-Site Ground Control Intercept (GCI). With its experienced controllers and AN/TPS-70 radar, 4 Wing GCI integrates skilfully into any training exercise, giving aircrews realistic training in a modern simulated air combat environment.
- The mission of 4 Wing's Air Force Tactical Training Centre (AFTTC) is to be a centre of excellence for air and ground training, and coordinate the provision of support services to Canada and her coalition allies wishing to conduct tactical training at 4 Wing. AFTTC's knowledgeable and capable staff specializes in the management of international, coalition air combat exercises such as Maple Flag.
Tactical Combat Force Training
4 Wing is a world-class centre of excellence for tactical fighter operations. Experienced and skilled operational and support personnel at 4 Wing are ready to work with international partners to achieve specific unit tactical training goals.
With its optimal location, outstanding training assets, vast and unrestricted airspace and cutting-edge technology, 4 Wing is a leading centre for coalition training.
4 Wing's reputation and experience with large-scale tactical exercises such as Maple Flag make it the perfect venue for any type of tactical fighter-pilot training.
Graced with north-eastern Alberta winters, 4 Wing is the perfect location to conduct night operations. The sun sets early in the evening and rises late in the morning, providing pilots with the opportunity to training for many hours in complete darkness.
The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) has multiple drop zones and austere airfields, making it a premier location for tactical transport training.
Cutting-edge technology, such as the Surface Threat Electronic Warfare (STEW) system, provide aircrews with realistic training in a modern simulated air combat environment. Premier debriefing tools allow aircrews to maximize the training benefit of missions conducted at 4 Wing.
Survival and CSAR
4 Wing's diverse terrain and four seasons make it the perfect place to conduct survival training and combat search and rescue (CSAR) exercises.
The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR), with its vast and unrestricted airspace with no civilian air traffic and more than 600 targets, is a attractive training area for allied air forces. Fighter crews from all over the world use the range annually during Exercise Maple Flag.
With proven expeditionary facilities, knowledgeable personnel and an ideal location, 4 Wing is the venue to train for real world, expeditionary force deployments.
NATO Flying Training
4 Wing Cold Lake's reputation as one of the world's finest fighter-training facilities prompted the establishment of Phase IV of the NATO Flying Training in Canada(NFTC) program in Cold Lake. The immense size of the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) provides ample airspace for effective jet-pilot tactical flying training, making it the ideal location for Phase IV's Fighter Lead-In Training (FLIT) module.
NATO Flying Training in Canada
NFTC was launched in 1994. Collaboratively designed to meet the pilot training objectives of Canada and NATO-members, the program provides training and military instruction from all participating nations. Also involved in the NFTC program are Bombardier Inc., a company that provides aircraft maintenance, and Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE), a company that supports 4 Wing's state-of-the-art flight simulators.
NATO flying training is broken up into four phases. Phase I is the selection phase, and is the individual responsibility of each nation. Phase II (basic) and III (advanced) train and award pilot wings to successful candidates, and take place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Phase IV, the tactical training phase, is the final phase of training in the NFTC program, and takes place in Cold Lake, Alberta.
The NFTC program will continue to provide Canada and her allies with top-notch pilot training for the next 20 years, thus helping to make NATO a strong, fighting force.
After flying the CT-156 Harvard II in Moose Jaw, students fly the CF-155 Hawk in Moose Jaw and Cold Lake. In Cold Lake, students become members of 419 Squadron, a unit with a strong and proud history. Students learn air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operation procedures, and prepare for training in high performance jet aircraft.