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1.0     Introduction

This article provides an overview of the Basic Air Environmental Qualification (BAEQ) course received by non-commissioned members (NCMs) of the Royal Canadian Air Force or Force Aérienne Royale Canadienne (FARC).

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is one of three elements/branches of military service that make up the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or Forces Armée Canadiennes (FAC), the other two being the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

After NCMs and officers have completed their basic training, Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) or Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) respectively, they will move on to what is termed environmental training.

Whereas, the BMQ/BMOQ courses are common to all members of the Canadian Army, RCAF and the RCN regardless of trade, environmental training is specific to the element/branch of military service the individual is joining.

The BAEQ course provides an overview of the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force, its custom and traditions, and evolutions in aviation technology. As personnel progress through their careers and gain promotion they will undertake AEQ training at a number of levels:

In Part One, this article will provide a description of the BAEQ course, when it is delivered and who it is for, before outlining its position in the training paradigm of the CAF. Part Two will outline the organisation of training, meaning what training establishments deliver the training and where. Part Three will provide a brief outline of the training. Finally, Part Four will provide a summary, as well as some useful links and publications before providing a list of references.

1.1     What is the Basic Air Environmental Qualification?

Each element of the CAF has their own environmental (Phase 2) training common to all personnel that join that element/branch of military service.

For the RCAF, this environmental training is known as the Basic Air Environmental Qualification (BAEQ) which is for NCMs. The course develops skills and knowledge common to all RCAF jobs, covering training specific to operating within an Air environment.

The Canadian Army and the RCN have their own versions of environmental training. Recruits on the Canadian Army version learn about advanced weapons handling, tactical manoeuvres and physical training, and is designed to help them function effectively in the field. Officers attend the BMOQ-L and NCMs attend the BMQ-L. Recruits on the RCN version receive training specific to operations at sea.

There is no such thing as BAEQ (L) or BAEQ (N).

Non-RCAF personnel attached to the RCAF must undertake Air Familiarisation training, typically based on their rank:

  • Basic Air Familiarisation Qualification (BAFQ); and/or
  • Advanced Environmental Familiarisation Qualification (AEFQ).

1.2     When Does The BAEQ Take Place?

Within the training paradigm of the CAF the BAEQ course is nominally scheduled immediately after BMQ/BMOQ but before occupational (trade) training (Section 1.4).

However, depending on when courses are scheduled within the training year, trainees may undertake occupational training first and then the BAEQ course.

1.3     Who Is the BAEQ Course For?

BAEQ is aimed at RCAF NCMs, typically at the rank of Private, who have completed the BMQ course but not yet completed their QL3/TQ3 training.

Newly commissioned officers undertake their version of the BAEQ on the Air Force Officer Development (AFOD) programme.

The AFOD programme is delivered via a blended (online and classroom-based) learning experience at specific points during an officer’s career:

  • Block 1: Basic/environmental training.
  • Block 2: After trade training (Online).
  • Block 3: In the latter part of employment at first unit (Online).
  • Block 4: At the level of senior Captain/Junior Major (Online).
  • Block 5: Residential at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies (CFSAS) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. CFSAS was established in 1987.

1.4     Developmental Period One

In the training paradigm of the CAF, the BMQ/BMOQ courses fall within Developmental Period 1 (DP1), the first of five periods, which focuses on the skills and knowledge required for entry level employment and further training.

In addition to the BMQ/BMOQ, DP1 includes environmental and occupational qualifications (aka Phase 2 Employment Training), and second language training as required. After completing DP1, military personnel are deemed occupationally employable at an introductory level.

Theoretically, at least, DP1 training is conducted in the following order:

  • CAF Common Training, e.g. BMQ or BMOQ;
  • Army/Navy/Air Force Specific Training (aka Environmental Training), e.g. BAEQ/AFOD; and
  • Occupational Training, e.g. military police trade training.

Progression to DP2 occurs when the trainee joins a unit and leaves the Basic Training List.

Some courses have colloquial names replacing their formal titles, as the below Infantry officer examples show:

  • Phase I: BMOQ.
  • Phase II: BMOQ-L.
  • Phase III: Infantry Officer Development Period 1.1, 14 week Dismounted Infantry Platoon Commander’s course.
  • Phase IV: Infantry Officer Development Period 1.2, Mechanised Infantry Platoon Commander.


2.0     Introduction

The BAEQ course is delivered at the Royal Canadian Air Force Academy, which is part of 16 Wing, both located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, Ontario.

This section provides a brief overview of the defence training establishments involved in the delivery of the AEQ programme.

2.1     Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System

The CAF uses a systems approach to determine what tasks are to be taught, which is known as the Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System (CFITES).

CFITES can be described as a management framework designed to optimise the quality and quantity of individual training and education (IT&E), while minimising the resources dedicated to IT&E programmes.

Drilling down, CFITES is a structured analytical approach to determining the customer requirement and how to deliver the end product. Strategic guidance to operations drives the determination of what is needed. Based on a needs assessment and analysis of the occupation, the customer determines the requirement, or the tasks to be performed.

After the needs assessment defines the desired end result, a training organisation’s role is to develop, implement, and maintain the respective training programmes. A six-phase systems approach model governs each programme. The phases are:

  • Phase 1: Analysis;
  • Phase 2: Design;
  • Phase 3: Development;
  • Phase 4: Conduct;
  • Phase 5: Evaluation; and
  • Phase 6: Validation.

A training organisation works through this process for every course in concert with the various stakeholders who have a vested interest in the training outcome.

The six phases of CFITES manifest in the 10+ volume Manual of Individual Training and Education (A-P9 Series) which describes the various steps in the development of a training programme.

2.2     2 Canadian Air Division

2 Canadian Air Division (CAD) is located at Winnipeg, Manitoba, and commanded by a Brigadier General (OF-6), who is assisted by a Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) (OR-9).

In its overarching role as the training authority for the RCAF, 2 CAD generates and develops personnel through three organisations (15 Wing, 16 Wing and the Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Centre). This role can be sub-divided into three streams (RCAF, 2015):

  1. Oversight of RCAF IT&E (including ab-initio training for most RCAF occupations);
  2. Oversight of core RCAF developmental courses; and
  3. Support to the overall RCAF training management.

2.3     16 Wing

“Birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).” (RCAF, 2016)

16 Wing is a lodger unit of CFB Borden, Ontario, and is the “largest training wing” in the CAF delivering both technical and professional training. (RCAF, 2016).

The Wing is commanded by a Colonel (OF-5), who is assisted by a CWO (OR-9), and consists of:

  • A Headquarters (HQ), located at CFB Borden;
  • The Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE), located at CFB Borden;
  • The Royal Canadian Air Force Academy (RCAF Academy), located at CFB Borden; and
  • The Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations (CFSACO), located at the NAV Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario.

16 Wing originally started as an RCAF (Reserve) Operational Wing in Hamilton, Ontario, on 01 October 1950 and has witnessed a number of transformations before reaching its current iteration; although an air training school has been at CFB Borden since 1917 (RCAF, 2016).

The Wing delivers training to approximately 2000 trainees each year, ranging from “core aircraft technology such as engine and airframe maintenance and repairs, to aerospace control operations, leadership and RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) history.” (RCAF, 2016).

2.4     RCAF Academy

The Royal Canadian Air Force Academy, generally known as the RCAF Academy, is located at CFB Borden and is led by the Commandant, a CWO (OR-9) (CME Association, 2015).

It has witnessed a number of iterations, as highlighted below:

  • Junior leadership school established at Penhold, Alberta, in 1973.
  • Junior leadership school established at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, in 1974.
  • The Air Command Professional Development and Training Centre (ACPDTC) established at CFB Borden in 1994.
  • Both junior leadership schools closed in 1994 and functions reassigned to the ACPDTC.
  • The Air Force Indoctrination School Detachment in St Jean, Quebec, and the Canadian Forces School of Air Reserve Training in Penhold also saw functions and resources reassigned to the ACPDTC.
  • ACPDTC renamed the Air Command Academy (ACA) in October 2004.
  • ACA renamed the RCAF Academy in June 2014.

The role of the RCAF Academy is threefold (CME Association, 2015; 16 Wing Public Affairs, 2016):

  1. To provide leadership and management training and education to all NCMs serving under the RCAF.
  2. To broaden awareness of RCAF heritage; and
  3. To develop general service knowledge and professional attributes among NCMs.

This role is manifest through a number of courses delivered by the RCAF Academy (acting as a central location) to approximately 1000 trainees each year (16 Wing Public Affairs, 2016):

  • Basic Air Environmental Qualification (BAEQ);
  • Primary Leadership Qualification (PLQ);
  • Primary Air Environmental Qualification (PAEQ), formerly the Junior Leader Air Environmental Course;
  • Intermediate Air Environmental Qualification (IAEQ), formerly the Sergeant Seminar; and
  • Senior Air Supervisor (SAS) course.

Other locations that may deliver the BAEQ course include Comox, Shearwater, Winnipeg, Trenton, Cold Lake, Cornwall, Greenwood and Bagotville.


3.0     Introduction

The BAEQ course is a four day overview of the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force, its customs and traditions, and evolutions in aviation technology.

Officially, the aim of the course is twofold:

  1. To outline the NCM AES-based professional military education and training required to complete the NCM Basic Air Environmental Qualification: and
  2. To provide the individual with the basic tools (i.e. skills and knowledge) necessary to perform their duties at the rank of Private within the RCAF.

Although the BAEQ course can be delivered at the RCAF Academy, it may be delivered at other locations as highlighted in Section 2.4.

The BAEQ was first delivered in January 2013 after being piloted in December 2012 (needs verification).

3.1     Underlying Concepts

Regardless of whether an individual is undertaking Air Environmental or Air Familiarisation training, there are a number of underlying concepts that embrace each level, which include:

  • Military Professionalism: covering Identity; Responsibility; Expertise; and Military Ethos.
  • Leadership.
  • Professional Development: covering Training; Education; Self-Development; and Work Experience.
  • Leadership Development.
  • Leadership Development Framework: including Meta-competencies such as Expertise; Cognitive Capacities; Social Capacities; Change Capacities; and Professional Ideology.

3.2     BAEQ Programme Outline

The BAEQ course has three performance objectives (POs) that trainees must achieve in order to successfully pass the course. The three POs include:

  • PO 001, Function Within an Air Environment:
    • Organisation.
    • Culture.
    • Traditions.
    • Programmes.
    • Policy.
    • Succession Planning.
    • Leadership/Develop Subordinates.
  • PO 002, Manage Air Force Resources:
    • Schedules.
    • Medical and Employment Requirements.
    • Airworthiness Principles.
    • Air Force Quality Management Principles.
    • HPMA Principles.
    • Air Force Knowledge Management Principles:
      • Lessons Learned.
      • Information Management.
      • Information Sharing.
  • PO 003, Participate in Aerospace Operations Planning:
    • Provide Advice on Aerospace Assets.
    • Domestic and Expeditionary Operations.
    • Aerospace Doctrine.
    • Aerodrome Operations and Safety.
    • Airfield Emergency Response.
    • Airfield Protection.


4.0     Summary

The Basic Air Environmental Qualification is common to all new Non-Commissioned Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force regardless of trade.

The course provides trainees with an overview of the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force, its customs and traditions, and evolutions in aviation technology.

4.1     Useful Links

4.2     Useful Publications

  • Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAODs):
    • DAOD 5002-0 – Military Personnel Requirements and Production.
    • DAOD 5031-1 – Canadian Forces Military Equivalencies Programme.
    • DAOD 5031-2 – Individual Training and Education Strategic Framework.
    • DAOD 5031-8 – Canadian Forces Professional Development.
    • DAOD 5039-6 – Delivery of Training and Education in Both Official Languages.
  • Manual of Individual Training and Education (A-P9 Series), sits within the Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System (CFITES):
    • Volume 1: Introduction/Description (A-P9-050-000/PT-001).
    • Volume 1(1): Supplement – CFITES Glossary (A-P9-050-000/PT-Z01).
    • Volume 2: Needs Assessment (A-P9-050-000/PT-002).
    • Volume 3: Analysis of Instructional Requirements (A-P9-050-000/PT-003).
    • Volume 4: Design of Instructional Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-004).
    • Volume 5: Development of Instructional Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-005).
    • Volume 6: Conduct of Instructional Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-006).
    • Volume 7: Evaluation of Learners (A-P9-050-000/PT-007).
    • Volume 8: Validation of Instructional Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-008).
    • Volume 9: Quantity Control in Individual Training and Education Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-009).
    • Volume 10: Managing Individual Training and Education in Projects (A-P9-050-000/PT-010).
    • Volume 11: Evaluation of Instructional Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-011).
    • Volume 11(1): Supplement – Evaluation and Validation Techniques (A-P9-050-000/PT-Z11).
    • Volume 12: Canadian Forces Military Equivalencies Programme (CFMEP), Prior Learning Assessment (A-P9-050-000/PT-012).
    • Volume 13: Administration of Individual Training and Education (IT&E), Establishments and Programmes (A-P9-050-000/PT-013).
    • Volume 14: Resource Management in IT&E: Costing Model and Procedures.
  • Academic/Research:
  • Annual Military Occupation Review (AMOR).

4.3     References

16 Wing Public Affairs (2016) Royal Canadian Air Force Academy: Leading the Future, One Class at a Time. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 23 June, 2016].

CME Association (the Canadian Military Engineers Association) (2015) CME Branch CWO Activity Report Sep – Nov 2014. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 23 June, 2016].

RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) (2015) 2 Canadian Air Division. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 12 July, 2016].

RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) (2016) 16 Wing Borden. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 23 June, 2016].