Governor Robert Bentley on Monday attended the grand opening celebration of CAE USA's new Dothan Training Center located at the Dothan Regional Airport.
The company also announced that the first class of United States Army aviators officially started training at the CAE Dothan Training Center in mid-February, including the first class ever for the Initial Entry Fixed-Wing training track created by CAE and the U.S. Army. The state-of-the-art facility was developed primarily to support the Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program, which will provide training to more than 600 U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force fixed-wing aviators annually.
"I am honored to participate in the grand opening of the CAE Dothan Training Center," Governor Bentley said. "Alabama's aerospace sector is expanding and CAE will be an important asset to the Army and Air Force aviators who train at Fort Rucker and the U.S. Army's Aviation Center of Excellence. This training facility will serve an important role in the continued growth of the Wiregrass area and success of Fort Rucker."
The grand opening ceremony and official launch of training was also attended today by Major General William K. Gayler, Commanding General, U.S. Army Aviation Center Of Excellence (USAACE) and Fort Rucker; United States Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.); Mayor Mike Schmitz, City of Dothan; General Bryan "Doug" Brown, U.S. Army (Retired), Chairman of the CAE USA board of directors; and Marc Parent, President and CEO of CAE. The CAE Dothan Training Center grand opening was also attended by other local, state, and federal government officials; small business partners and suppliers; and customers from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.
"When we look at what we ask of our soldiers and families, and we deploy them and put them in harm's way, we owe it to our warfighters to give them the best training opportunity that we can possibly give, and the best equipment to ensure that they are ready, said Major General William K. Gayler, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker. "That is exactly what you are going to see when you walk in the Dothan Training Center -- it represents our commitment to our nation and our soldiers."
CAE is now managing the syllabus to deliver all the training required for the following Army courses:
Initial Entry Fixed-Wing (IEFW) C-12 Course, which includes academic, simulator and aircraft training, including upset recovery training;
C-12 Aviator Qualification Course, which includes academic, simulator and aircraft training, including upset recovery training;
C-12 Instructor Pilot Course, which includes academic, simulator and aircraft training, including upset recovery training
C-12 Aviator Refresher Course, which includes academic and simulator training.
"The grand opening of the CAE Dothan Training Center marks the end of an extraordinary journey that included the development of this facility and comprehensive training program in less than 12 months, but more importantly, it signifies the beginning of a new partnership to provide a modern, flexible and cost-effective training program specifically designed for fixed-wing aviators," said Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA. "I would sincerely like to thank the United States Army; all the local, state, and federal officials; our industry partners; and the employees of CAE for the opportunity to deliver training that will ultimately help enhance the safety, efficiency and readiness of our customers."
"I'm proud to welcome CAE to the Wiregrass," said United States Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) "This is a tremendous investment for our area and a testament to the strength of our growing aviation and aerospace industry. I appreciate all the hard work of our local leaders and economic developers to make this project a reality."
The Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program is responsible for providing the training required for experienced Army rotary-wing aviators transitioning to fly the Army's fleet of more than 350 fixed-wing aircraft. The Army and CAE have implemented the new IEFW training program so that entry-level Army students can begin their career track to fixed-wing aircraft much sooner. In addition, the Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program serves as the formal training unit for Army C-12/RC-12 Huron recurrent training, as well as providing annual training to U.S. Air Force C-12 Huron pilots.
CAE has delivered a suite of simulators and training devices to the Dothan Training Center, including two CAE 7000XR Series C-12 King Air full-flight simulators (FFSs) and two reconfigurable CAE Simfinity C-12 King Air integrated procedures trainers (IPTs).
In addition, CAE has developed two other CAE 7000XR Series FFSs, referred to as motherships. These simulators feature CAE's revolutionary roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cockpit design, which enables cockpits representing various aircraft types to be used in the full-flight simulator. CAE has developed four RORO cockpits representing various configurations of the C-12 aircraft used by the Army and U.S. Air Force. When two of the cockpits are installed on the full-flight simulator mothership, the other two can be connected to a docking station and be used as Level 6-equivalent flight training devices.
The comprehensive Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program features live-flying training provided by CAE. The transition of Army rotary-wing aviators and training of Army initial-entry fixed-wing students will use six new CAE-owned Grob G120TP aircraft. A fleet of 10 C-12U Huron aircraft owned and maintained by the U.S. Army are operated by CAE instructors to deliver live flying C-12 training.
The CAE Dothan Training Center at Dothan Regional Airport features state-of-the-art classrooms; training system integrated learning environment and other modern facilities, including cafeteria and fitness center.