Air force gets new training squadron


OTTAWA – The air force has resurrected a squadron with a historic record to play the bad guys in electronic warfare training.

The reborn 414 Electronic Warfare Support Squadron is a direct descendant of a Second World War formation that flew the famous Spitfire, among other aircraft.

It was disbanded and reassembled several times since the war.

In its new variation, the Ottawa-based squadron will help train pilots in CF-18 Hornet jets and sailors aboard combat ships by simulating enemy attacks using radio and radar jamming equipment and other electronic gear.

The squadron will operate Dassault-Dornier Alpha jets, French/German-built aircraft owned by Top Aces Consulting Inc., a Quebec firm which has been involved in electronic warfare training on a contract basis since 2005.

They may also fly aboard American air force EKC-135 electronic warfare aircraft.

“We’re what’s called the force adversary,” said Lt. Col. Larry Weir, the squadron commander.

“We come in and we take on the role of the adversary, so when we fly against the Hornets or when we fly missions against the ships we’re jamming radars, making communications a challenge for them, simulating missile strikes and generally raising their level of readiness.”

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