Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Centre
The Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Centre (CFASC) is housed at 32 Buffalo Avenue on the south side of 8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Trenton.
The mission of the CFASC is to select Pilot, Aerospace Controller (AEC), and Air Combat System Officer (ACSO) candidates for aircrew training in the Canadian Forces. Choosing the best possible candidate results in a lower training failure rate, which ultimately reduces the costs of training.
The staff of CFASC consists of a pilot Major who is the Unit Commanding Officer, a pilot Captain who is the Deputy Commanding Officer, a Class “A” Reserve Force pilot Captain who is the Chief Selection Officer, as well as a Captain Personnel Selection Officer (PSO) who is an Aviation Research and Selection Officer. The Commanding Officer (CO) and Deputy Commanding Officer (DCO) are also trained selection officers. The Unit’s varied administrative needs are handled by a Corporal (Cpl) Resource Management System (RMS) Clerk. CFASC operates year round and can process up to 1840 Pilot/AEC/ACSO candidates per year.
The selection process for pilot candidates takes two days. The selection involves approximately 7 hours of computer based aptitude testing over two days using the Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Test (CFAST) test battery, which also tests candidates' aptitude for AEC and ACSO. Most candidates find it extremely difficult and stressful. Candidates also receive briefings on the Pilot, AEC, and ACSO occupations as well as a tour of the 8 Wing Trenton airfield. Successful pilot candidates will also undergo anthropometric (body) measurements at CFASC upon completion of the CFAST testing.
CFASC occasionally processes candidates from the armed forces of other nations eligible for the Military Training Assistance Program.
The CFASC motto, Selectio, simply means: to Select.
The selection of aircrew in Canada had its origins at 1 Manning Depot in Toronto during the Second World War. Officer selection remained a function of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Toronto until 1951, when 2 Personnel Selection Unit (PSU) was formed and moved to RCAF Station London, Ontario.
On 1 September 1958, 2 PSU moved to RCAF Station Centralia because London was closing and, on 1 December 1961, changed its name to the Officers' Selection Unit (OSU). With the subsequent closure of Centralia in July 1966, responsibility for aircrew selection was transferred to the RCAF Personnel Applied Research Unit (RCAF PARU) in Toronto which, in turn, became CF PARU. PARU was physically located on Avenue Road while the Aircrew Selection Unit (ASU) and its Link Testers were at RCAF Station Toronto (Downsview).
In 1979, ASU became the Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Centre and a formation of Air Command. In 1994, the closure of Canadian Forces base (CFB) Toronto was formally announced.
CFASC had been in Toronto, at Downsview, for over thirty years with very little change in selection methodology. With the announced closure of CFB Toronto, CFASC relocated to 8 Wing Trenton in 1997 and introduced the Canadian Automated Pilot Selection System (CAPSS). CAPSS is a computer based system which uses five full motion simulators networked to an analysis center.
In July 2013 CFASC transitioned from CAPSS to desktop computer based testing for both Pilot and Aerospace Controller (AEC) candidates using the Canadian Forces Aircrew Selection Testing (CFAST) program. In April 2014 Air Combat Systems Officer (ACSO) testing was added to this battery.
The CFASC mandate is to select Pilot, AEC, and ACSO candidates for further processing in the Canadian Forces. Production capacity is over 1800 candidates annually. CFASC is an integral unit of 8 Wing and is located in the North wing, ground floor, at 32 Buffalo Avenue.
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