History in the making: First Canadian student pilots to train with ENJJPT
by Airman 1st Class Adawn Kelsey
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
1/21/2010 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE,Texas (AFNS) -- Two young Canadians made history at the 80th Flying Training wing when they became the first two Canadian student pilots to train in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard AFB, Texas.
Although Sheppard has had Canadian instructor pilots in the past, the two lieutenants are the first Canadian student pilots to go through the ENJJPT program. The students have been sent into the ENJJPT program on a trial basis, which the Canadian Air Force may expand.
Second Lt. Reg Reimer and 2nd Lt. Bertram Cronshaw joined the 459th Flying Training Squadron in October, 2009 and are learning to fly the T-6A Texan II.
Lieutenant Reimer said he was excited to be accepted into the ENJJPT and feels lucky to be a part of the program.
"I was very honored to be selected to represent the Canadian Air Force in the ENJJPT program," he said. "Our training so far has been both challenging and rewarding. I'm excited to experience the different cultures and the NATO interaction we have with everybody is a huge benefit."
Capt. David Smith, Canadian Senior National Representative of ENJJPT and instructor pilot for the 459th FTS, said the students are assigned to the squadron because the Canadian Air Force is growing substantially.
"The student pilots here right now are here as an extension of our increasing fleet size," he said. "We have excess capacity and that has resulted in electing some of our students to attend the program here on a trial basis, to expand and use the ENJJPT program to keep producing fighter pilots."
Lieutenant Reimer said this opportunity will lead him to reach his ultimate goal back in Canada after his follow-on training.
"We will continue flying the T-6 as we have been for the last three months and then we will head back to Canada for our follow-on training," he said. "It is the first step to obtaining my goal of being a CF-18 Hornet pilot."
Lieutenant Reimer experienced his first solo flight while in the program and was nearly at a loss for words to describe his experience.
"It was a very emotional experience," he said. "I think that this is a great program and I am very impressed. It's a very intense program that demands a lot of you and that's the way it should be."
Lieutenant Cronshaw also experienced his first solo flight here and said it really hit home for him as he left the Sheppard runway.
"My first solo flight was Dec. 17, and it was fantastic," the lieutenant said. "It's a very liberating experience once you hit 500 feet off the ground. You realize not only that you're solely responsible for a multi-million dollar aircraft, but you have to bring it back down all by yourself."
Lieutenant Cronshaw, said being picked to be one of the first Canadian pilots to go through the program was an honor.
"I feel very privileged to be picked as the first group of Canadian student pilots to enter the ENJJPT program," he said. "It is a great honor to be selected to be the first to represent the Canadian Air Force as a student pilot here at Sheppard."
He said he wanted to be part of this program because of the great opportunity and how jet-focused the program is.
"Most of the students that go through this program end up as a (fighter pilot) and that was my first choice back in Canada and is my long term goal," the lieutenant said.
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