I was fortunate enough to go to Bangor, Maine, where we had the,
Over-the-Horizon Back Scatter Radar was being developed, a
joint Canadian and American manning, for an American project
to develop it. The first site that they were developing was in
Bangor and I was one of the first Canadians to go in on the
component for the operation of it. And we never did get it fully
operational because of funding and various other things came up
in the meantime and they wound up mothballing it. But it was my
first exposure to being transferred to the States if you will.
I went there in ‘87 for that and got promoted in ‘89 and was
offered a chance to go back flying and elected to go to
Oklahoma, elected, wasn't much of an election, I was told to go
there. Wound up going to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City,
flying on the American AWACS E-3, and spent four years there.
Interviewer: Did you find it difficult when you first went to
Bangor, the Canadian and American... No, I actually didn't,
Bangor being so close to the New Brunswick border, you're in New
Brunswick, you're in Maine, other than crossing the border the
people are remarkably the same. The climate's identical, pretty
close to what they're doing and let's just say the people are so
much like the people from New Brunswick that it's pretty hard
to differentiate between the two. Interviewer: Did you find much
of a difference between the planes and the equipment you
would use in Canada and what they had in America?
Eventually we did, when I wound up flying on the AWACS out of
Oklahoma. Canada bought the CF-18 in 1982 and that is the most
modern air plane that we fly obviously as a fighter aircraft.
It's as modern as a majority of the American fighters, they just
have so many more of them, and by having more they can develop
them into different roles. Ours are pretty much limited to the
role that they were designed for. The Americans for example
the F-16's that the Americans fly, they can fly them as a
reconnaissance type of aircraft devoted solely to that if they
want to do that. They can have so many different variants of the
same model of aircraft if you will, that they can specialize in
different roles. And they just plain have so many of them that
you can really structure a force when your going into a place
like the Gulf War, the first Gulf War. You can structure your
force for specialty aircraft to do a specific job, you don't have
to rely on one type of aircraft to do everything.