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CAE USA has been awarded a USAF contract to provide comprehensive Phase 1 and 2 military pilot training to the Irish Air Corps, the company announced on 22 March.

Awarded by the Air Force Security Assistance Training (AFSAT) Squadron, part of Air Education & Training Command (AETC), the contract makes CAE USA responsible for managing and delivering military pilot training to 14 Irish Air Corps students over the next 18 months. Phase 1 training will take place in Pensacola, FL at SkyWarrior Flight Training Inc., a small business partner subcontracted by CAE USA to provide an Air Force-approved initial flight training (IFT) programme. Following completion of the IFT programme at SkyWarrior, students will progress to Phase 2 primary flight training at CAE’s Dothan Training Center, AL, during which they will receive academic, simulator, and live flying training in CAE-owned and -operated Grob G120TP aircraft.

We already train US Army, Navy, and Air Force pilots at the CAE Dothan Training Center, so we are excited to welcome the Irish Air Corps as the first international students to our state-of-the-art training facility,” commented Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA. “Many militaries around the world may be looking for initial and primary pilot training options, and leveraging our existing infrastructure and syllabus can be a cost-effective alternative to establishing a homegrown pilot training program.”

Upon arrival at Dothan, Irish Air Corps student pilots will begin by leveraging the CAE Trax Academy pilot training continuum. Academic training starts in one of the digital classrooms at the training facility, as the students learn procedures and fundamentals. They will then progress to practicing in the interactive CAE Sprint Virtual Reality (VR) immersive training device, simulating the Grob G120TP aircraft. Students will then demonstrate proficiency in a high-fidelity Grob G120TP flight training device (FTD), an FAA Level 6-equivalent FTD. Finally, live-flying training will be delivered in the CAE-owned and -operated Grob G120TP, a two-seat single-engine trainer aircraft ideal for primary military pilot training, aerobatics, and introduction to digital avionics and glass cockpits.

CAE’s Dothan Training Center, which opened in 2017, is the home of US Army fixed-wing flight training. In addition, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps use the center for C-12/KING AIR academic and simulator training. Furthermore, US Customs and Border Protection is expected to leverage the Dothan Training Center under a recent contract awarded to CAE USA. In total, more than 800 pilots train at the CAE Dothan Training Center annually.

Irish Air Corps pilots will now receive the basic flying training at CAE’s Dothan Training Center in Alabama. (Photo: CAE)

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