New Meaning to Fully Operational

The Canadian air force is considering putting all 65 of its planned F-35 strike fighters into its operational force, relying on simulators for training, said Maj. Gen. Y.J. Blondin, Canadian Forces’ assistant chief of the air staff. Speaking at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Blondin said Canada places a heavy emphasis on virtual training “and how we can push the envelope,” when balancing future trends against the cost of operations. He said he’d like to see Canada’s future strike fighter pilots train on a smaller platform before moving on to virtual training and then directly into their operational squadrons. Blondin was part of a panel discussion on contingency operations.