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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Canadian officer assumes American command of 80th Wing

U.S. 80th Operations Group Commander Colonel Paolo Baldasso (left) transfers command of the 89th Flying Training Squadron to Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Rhett Chambers.
U.S. 80th Operations Group Commander Colonel Paolo Baldasso (left) transfers command of the 89th Flying Training Squadron to Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Rhett Chambers during an April 22, 2016, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program change-of-command ceremony held at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The handover represented the first time a Royal Canadian Air Force officer has been appointed as a squadron commander in the 35-year history of the program. PHOTO: Debi Smith, USAF photo

RCAF Press Release

From Sheppard Air Force Base

Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Rhett Chambers assumed command of the 89th Flying Training Squadron on April 22, 2016, in a ceremony at the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The change of command ceremony marked the first time in the 35-year history of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program that an RCAF officer has been appointed to a squadron command position.

He has 4,000 flying hours to his credit; 330 of those he amassed during 75 missions in Afghanistan. His wife, Major Martine Chambers, retired last year after serving for 23 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1994. Many of his flight hours were spent in CT-114 Tutor, CH-139 Jet Ranger, CH-146 Griffon, and CT-156 Harvard II aircraft.

The 89th Flying Training Squadron traces its lineage to the Second World War 89th Pursuit Squadron. As part of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program, 89th Flying Training Squadron trains 250 pilots a year in the T-37 twin-engine jet-powered Cessna Tweet. Designed specifically for training purposes, the Tweet is used for undergraduate pilot, undergraduate navigator, and tactical navigation training, during which students learn the fundamentals of aircraft handling, and instrument, formation and night flying.