Greenwood Air Cadet Summer Training Centre (GACSTC)
About the Training
The Greenwood Air Cadet Summer Training Centre is one of six National Air Cadet Summer Training Centres across Canada, which include Bagotville, Quebec; Trenton, Ontario; Penhold, Alberta; Cold Lake, Alberta; and Albert Head, British Columbia.
The Greenwood Centre is located at 14 Wing Greenwood on the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and offers summer training opportunities for approximately 1200 cadets from the 80 Squadrons within the Atlantic provinces. The Training Centre also hosts cadets from Ontario on the Survival Instructor Course and the Aircrew Survival Course.
The principal aim of summer training is to support and enhance training conducted at the local Squadron level. Summer training also aims at providing each Squadron with skilled and qualified NCO’s to assist the officers and instructors. Not all cadets are able to attend the Training Centre. Selection of cadets for summer training positions is based on attendance and merit at home Squadrons during the regular training year (Sept-June). Selection is also dependent on the needs of the Squadron and quota available from the Training Centre. Approximately one third of the total cadet population within the Atlantic region are offered summer training opportunities. Since some training can be strenuous, cadets should be both medically fit, and physically and mentally prepared to attend courses in Greenwood.
For many young people, summer training represents the first time they are away from home, while others take advantage of more advanced training to polish their skills. For all cadets and staff, it is a chance to learn new skills, make new friends and return to their home Squadrons with valuable and worthwhile experiences.
Cadets arrive in Greenwood by way of bus or aircraft and are met by Training Centre staff on arrival. Some administrative tasks are then processed such as the assigning of flights and bunks, banking money, being kitted through supply and having personal belongings checked.
(Certain things are not allowed at the Training Centre such as cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, walkmans, radios, scissors, personal knives, weapons of any kind or pets.)
Courses offered at the Greenwood Training Centre include:
- 3 two week Basic Courses
- 3 two week Aircrew Survival Courses
- 2 three week Introduction to Leadership Courses
- 2 three week Instructor’s Courses
- 2 three week PE & RT Courses
- 1 six week Service Band Course
- 1 six week Survival Instructor’s Course
In addition to the above, the Greenwood Air Cadet Summer Training Centre offers programs in First Aid, Marksmanship, Adventure Training, Sports and Aquatics.
Cadets attending the Greenwood Training Centre can also look forward to a program of visits that include tours of aircraft at 14 Wing, local museums, historic sites, theme parks and other points of interest.
A Gliding familiarization site is also operated in Greenwood by the Regional Gliding School (Atlantic) to provide glider flights to all cadets and staff.
Throughout most of the training day, cadets partake in activities within their respective courses. Some activities are common to all cadets and include drill, morning fall-in, sports, swimming, and social activities such as weekly dances.
At the end of each course, a parade is held where special dignitaries, staff, friends and parents are welcome to witness the accomplishments and esprit de corps of the graduating cadets. The dates of the graduation parades vary from year to year, therefore, if you plan to attend it is advisable to check this website before departing.
Parents, family, and squadron officers are invited to visit the Training Centre during the graduation ceremonies. Although leave passes may be granted by the Commanding Officer, it is not recommended to take a cadet off base during the middle of training, as this could result in important activities of the course being missed.
While attending training in Greenwood, cadets are subject to certain regulations designed to ensure a smooth operation. Cadets may be disciplined for minor breaches of regulations or for misbehaving. Disciplinary measures include extra drill, cleanup of facilities, curtailment of privileges, etc. Harassment, or conduct unbecoming cadets or staff are not tolerated. Serious breaches of discipline can result in cadets being returned home or the matter referred to the appropriate authorities.
Over 200 staff comprised of CIC officers, Reserve Force officers/NCM’s and civilians are responsible for the operation of the Greenwood Air Cadet Summer Training Centre. There are also many civilians hired to supplement cleaning and kitchen staffs. Services provided for the cadets include a full complement of medical staff (doctor, nurses, and medical assistants), chaplain services, laundry, a free late lunch program and a fully stocked canteen. Banking services are also provided to safeguard against loss of money.
The Training Centre headquarters, supply and medical inspection room are located in Building 60 on the west side of the Base. Cadets are housed in a trailer complex adjacent to the headquarters building. Supervision of the complex is assured through a “Duty Centre” located at the entrance of the complex. Many Wing facilities are used for training purposes, including No 6 Hangar, the PE & RT Centre, the Greenwood Gardens Arena and Curling Club and various sports fields. Survival Training is conducted at the nearby Cloud Lake Adventure Training Site. The Cloud Lake Site is self-sufficient having the ability to support approximately 95 staff and cadets undertaking survival training. Staff is housed in various Base accommodations including Barrack Block 33, Argus House and Barrack Block 3. All staff and cadets take their meals from the newly opened 14 Wing Annapolis Mess complex which serves more than 95,000 meals during the summer.
The organization of the Training Centre is a year round concern, which requires much planning, and preparation and is the responsibility of the Regional Cadet Air Training Staff located at Regional Cadet Support Unit (Atlantic) in Shearwater, NS.