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Ottawa officially gives ‘landmark contract’ to aerospace group for renewed training at 15 Wing

The Government of Canada has announced that it has awarded the Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) Program to SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership, a “transformative initiative” worth $11.2 billion over 25 years.  
15 Wing school inspection1
Members of the Big 2 prepare for inspection.

Transformative changes in training will occur at 15 Wing Airbase over the next three decades, as Ottawa has awarded a massive multi-billion-dollar contract to two companies already engaged in training pilots. 

The Government of Canada announced on May 29 that, after a rigorous selection process, it had awarded a “landmark contract” for the Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) Program to SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership, a “transformative initiative” worth $11.2 billion over 25 years.  

The program reimagines training for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), consolidating three aircrew training operations — for military pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers (ACSOs) and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AES Ops) — under SkyAlyne and Canada’s joint management, with training occurring in Moose Jaw, Portage La Prairie, Man., and Winnipeg.

Moreover, SkyAlyne will lead the rebuilding of bases and modernization of equipment, including purchasing 70 new aircraft.

The SkyAlyne partnership comprises national aerospace leaders KF Aerospace, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, and CAE Flight Training, based in Montreal. Both are the incumbents of legacy RCAF pilot training programs, with the latter serving 15 Wing.

 “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,” said Mayor Clive Tolley. 

“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.”

This program is a significant step toward preparing air force personnel for tomorrow’s challenges because under the FAcT Program, SkyAlyne — in collaboration with the RCAF — will design, develop, and deliver a comprehensive training and support system, including live flying, simulation, ground school training, and a suite of in-service support functions, the federal government said. 

Fittingly coinciding with the RCAF’s 100th anniversary, the FAcT Program is the next symbol of Canada’s proud history of excellence in military aircrew training, it added.

“It is a privilege to be entrusted by Canada to lead the FAcT Program, a role that speaks volumes about our team’s relentless effort and expertise,” said France Hébert, president of SkyAlyne and vice-president of Defence & Security at CAE Canada. 

“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to deliver top-tier training solutions that align with the dynamic needs of the Canadian Armed Forces,” he continued. “This is a milestone moment for us and all the companies on the SkyAlyne Team, highlighting our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation.”

Tracy Medve, chair of the SkyAlyne board and president/CEO of KF Aerospace, said, “The vision for FAcT represents a unified effort from Canada’s finest minds and organizations. We’re geared up to bring this vision to life with our truly Canadian expertise, working closely with Canada and the RCAF to usher in a new era of aircrew training. 

“Our focus is beyond meeting today’s standards but shaping the future of aircrew readiness, creating new jobs and opportunities in communities across Canada,” she added.

Centrally managed from Ottawa, the FAcT Program will revamp and expand upon training services currently provided by KF Aerospace and CAE. The program includes the establishment of a complete training enterprise at all three operating locations, helping ensure the RCAF maintains the highest standards of excellence and innovation.

This contract also aligns with Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy and Value Proposition, requiring investments in Canada equal to the contract value. 

SkyAlyne is committed to investing in Canadian industry and the inclusion of an extensive Indigenous Participation Plan.

“With a shared focus on innovation and excellence, we’re poised to transform aircrew training not just for Canada but globally,” said Kevin Lemke, general manager of SkyAlyne. “This program is our pledge to help advance Canada’s military readiness to unprecedented levels.”

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