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'This is monumental': Moose Jaw among three communities to benefit from $11.2 billion RCAF training initiative

Planes on the runway at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. (Cally Stephanow/CTV News) Planes on the runway at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. (Cally Stephanow/CTV News)

15 Wing Moose Jaw's long standing legacy of flight training will continue into the next quarter century, as the base is among three locations chosen for an $11.2 billion Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) training initiative.

The 25 year contract was awarded to SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership for the RCAF’s Future Air Crew Training (FAcT) program. The investment will be distributed between 15 Wing, Southport (Portage La Prairie), and 17 Wing Winnipeg.

Moose Jaw Mayor Clive Tolley released a statement following the announcement, congratulating SkyAlyne and commenting on the importance of RCAF training to the community.

“15 Wing is a key facet of Moose Jaw’s identity, and we’re excited to know that training operations at our military base have been secured for another 25 years,” he said in his statement.

“On behalf of City Council, we congratulate SkyAlyne on being awarded this contract, and we thank the Government of Canada for this major investment that will be #NotoriouslyImpactful to our economy and perhaps open other economic opportunities.”

It's a message echoed by Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Rob Clark.

“Well, I can tell you right now, this is monumental. It is outstanding,” he said. “They're bringing in infrastructure, and you've got new fleets, and it's even the local service and supplies."

According to Clark, the Chamber is expecting an increase of Full Time Employees (FTEs) at the base as a result of the FAcT program.

“Most of these people are going to be living in town here. So this is again, I mentioned, monumental. I'm still walking around smiling and pinching myself about what's happening.”

According to the company, the FAcT program will see SkyAlyne and the RCAF design, develop, and deliver a comprehensive training and support system for pilots, air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators.

The new program will include utilizing virtual reality and ground based training systems in addition to live flying.

The funding for FAcT also includes the purchase of 71 new training aircraft, ranging from single and multi-engine turboprops to helicopters.

SkyAlyne acts as a joint venture between CAE and KF Aerospace.

“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to deliver top-tier training solutions that align with the dynamic needs of the Canadian Armed Forces,” SkyAlyne President France Hébert said in the announcement.

“This is a milestone moment for us and all the companies on the SkyAlyne Team, highlighting our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation.”

The procurement for the FAcT program began all the way back in 2013 with preliminary consultations.

On June 30, 2023, SkyAlyne was chosen as the preferred bidder for the momentous, multi-decade program.

15 Wing Moose Jaw currently hosts NATO flying training in Canada through a contract that expires in 2027.

The wing accounts for approximately 30 per cent of RCAF flying hours annually.

The air base and its personnel provide a lot of support to the City of Moose Jaw economically. However, the impact culturally cannot be understated, according to Clark.

“They're all going to have some good paying jobs and they'll be bringing their families here,” he explained.

“Over the last few years, they really have become a big part of the community. They're actually part of the fibre of Moose Jaw now.” Top Stories

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