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Traffic Technician ( merged )


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Posted by "John Davis" <jcdavis@sympatico.ca> on Tue, 22 Feb 2000 21:53:56 -0500
Anyone know of anyone who has gone through QL3 Traffic Tech training, or
gone through themselves? I was wondering if the training was held in CFB
Borden at CFSAL or possibly in CFB Trenton. I‘m in the process of a LOTP and
was just curious. That and how long the actual course was. I have yet to
have an appointment with the Career Manager, so there is a bit of logic
behind my ignorance.
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Now this is one trade i am seriously interested in

i just got back from the Victoria Recruiting Center and got a lot of information. Its all very interesting

what i would like to hear from people is what they think about this trade.

Pros, Cons, Comments, etc...any and all information is welcome.

If I decide to join up with the Reg Force, i think this would be my trade of choice

One thing i am not sure about is whether to wear a green or blue uniform.
Well, as a Traffic Tech (Trapper) I can probably help you out with some questions you may have.

First a little in sight:

Only 22% of the trade are Army and of that 95% of those are remusters from combat arms trades.
That said, almost all Trappers wear CADPAT as dress of the day.
There are presently approximately 550 Traffic Techs with a large number soon to retire.
There is always a shortage of personnel which could lead to quick advancement for the right person.
We are the first members to deploy and last to return from most Ops and Exs
There are Trappers on every Canadian Base (and some non-Canadian Bases) world wide.
Presently the majority of overseas work is 56 day Rotos, with a few 6 month tours and over seas postings.
There are also many opportunities for out of country travel, since every OP and Ex. has to have Trappers on the other end to load and unload planes.

Jobs Include:

Job     Job Description (Brief) Location
F & E     Contracting outside agencies to move CF members Every Base
CMTT     Shipping Freight by Commercial or CF ground or Rail Every Base
Pax Terminal    Booking Flights and Passengers                Winnipeg, Trenton, Greenwood
Line Crew     Loading/Unloading Freight on Aircraft Winnipeg, Trenton, Greenwood
Cargo Ops     Building up Freight for shipment by Air Trenton
Customs     Checking all returning freight from outside the country Trenton, Montreal
Loadie     Escorting freight in flight to destination All Flying Squadrons nation wide

As a Trapper you can go on to work with JTF2, Para, Search and Rescue and a number of other units. The job description above is very brief and doesn't really give the trade justice. We are a hard working family that treats our own with the utmost respect and dignity (which can't be said for a lot of trades in the CF). If you're serious about being a Traffic Tech, expect to live in Trenton. This is wear 25% of the trade is posted and it's where most of the action is. A majority of Ops and Exercises are staffed by 2 Air Movements Squadron in Trenton.

When I first looked into the Reg. Force I asked a few buddies already in the Military, â Å“What Trade they had wished they had picked?â ? 5 out of 6 wished they had heard about Traffic Techs when they had signed.

If you have any questions at all feel free to post them here so that others can learn about the trade as well.

one thing that really caught my attention was becoming a Loadmaster for either a CC-130 or an Airbus

the way i understood it, TFC Techs are sometimes required to not only load/unload everything, but they also travel with their cargo?
Absolutely, as a Pte/Cpl you may have the chance to travel as a Loadie Assist. You'll travel to a destination help the Load Master load the aircraft and then â Å“escortâ ? the freight to its destination. In the last few months there has been Loadie Assist taskings from North of 60 and Haiti.

It's almost every Traffic Techs goal to become a Loadie and travel the world. As a MCpl you can become a CC 130 (Herc) Loadie or you can wait until you're a Sgt and become a CC 150 Loadie. Once you're a Loadie for a specific aircraft, you can stay doing that for quite awhile if you choose. If you're a Herc Loadie you have to retrain if you want to move up to the Airbus. There are Herc Loadies in Trenton that have been doing it so long their MWOs now.

From what I hear both courses are pretty tough, but if you are keen and have the drive it's worth the couple of months of heavy studying and check rides.
so what kind of things can i expect in the training process? lots of manual labour? lots of filling out paper work?
so what kind of things can i expect in the training process?

On your QL3 course you'll do a lot of book work, but all exams are open book. It's just a matter of memorizing where to find information within the book. I was a C+ / B student in High School, and I managed a 97.7% on my course. In fact out of 21 I think only 5 or 6 were not in the 90s

The first 5 or 6 weeks is Driver Training with the MSE staff. You'll get qualified on LSVW, MLVW, 5 Ton, Mercedes, Basic Pax Vehicle and Forklift. If you later go to Trenton, Greenwood or Winnipeg you'll get qualified on a lot more vehicles that are used to load/unload Aircraft. Your last week with MSE is your Air Brake course. This was the hardest week I thought. A 2 week course crammed into 1 week.

Once you're on the Traffic side of training things will calm down and get interesting.

We did tours of CFB Borden CMTT and F&E, a local Moving company and The Toronto Rail Yard. You'll also do â Å“Weight and Balanceâ ? and Load Planning. This is the paperwork to load a plane and make sure it's capable to fly. You'll study Shipping, Receiving, Customs, Passenger Processing, Rail and Ground moves, Moving CF Members and more.

Once you're at your posting, you'll work on getting your QL4s written off, if you're not posted to Trenton, Greenwood or Winnipeg you'll end up in one for about 2 weeks to get it done.

Your QL5s is the same as your QL3s minus the Driver Training, with Dangerous Cargo added in.

lots of manual labour?
Not a lot

lots of filling out paper work?
Some, there is always paperwork in the Military.
ok so how about a drivers  license?

the Sgt at the recruiting center said i would need a DND license as well as a civvie license to drive anything except a tank, which is only a DND license apparently...

currently, i dont have a license, and live in BC, which means it could take up to 4 years to get a Full, non restricted license
thats BS..I am looking at my 404's and says u do not need a provincial license to operate a dnd vehicle
No provincial license required. I work with 2 guys that don't have anything but 404s. That being said, when you do your Driver Training you'll be tested on Defensive Driving and the Ontario Sup. This is all you need (and of course your 404s for that vehicle) to drive military vehicles in Ontario. If you get posted to Nova Scotia you'll take the Nova Scotia Sup. once you're there.
maybe its because im in BC?

the BC drivers system is on a graduated type of thing

when you hit 16 years old, you can take the ICBC Computer Roat Test and then receive your L (Learner's) License, which means you can only drive if there is another fully licensed adult in the vehicle with you
ouyin2000 said:
maybe its because im in BC?

the BC drivers system is on a graduated type of thing

when you hit 16 years old, you can take the ICBC Computer Roat Test and then receive your L (Learner's) License, which means you can only drive if there is another fully licensed adult in the vehicle with you

C/MWO...............read my post.................(NCR Crow & amos933)....there will be a test after.
it's depend wich province u are, in quebec for my equivalency for my class 3 from my DND 404 (5 ton commercial,standard and air brake) i just had to do a physical exam.

For the course i did mine last year. the part with the driver's are long and boring because they treat u like if u were nothing because ur not in their trade and after when ur on the traffic side of the building they watch u doing everything and if u do something wrong,not balancing ur arm properly,they will go complain at the instructor...

in the phase 2 of the course ,where u learn ur trade, it's a lot of studying and homework but if ur goood at reading and want to put a bit of effort u can make it easy.

Because we are so few across Canada when a traffic tech fart in comox it's take few minutes for greenwood to know it...what i mean it's EVERYBODY knows somebody somewhere so if ur no good or a great tech with a good personnality everybody will know.

it's a trade where when u have to work u work hard but when u can relax u have good time.

and it's not a repetitive work, what i mean is u can ship 10 box at the same destination but everyone will be different,because of the content,size,weight,etc...

it's a trade where u can use ur head as much as ur arms.

I hope this answer some of ur question if not send me pm

have a nice day

PS: btw i know mr amos933 he know what he's talking about
well thank you everyone for your responses

i am seriously considering this trade, and i like the fact that its not a super repetitive job

other trades i would consider would be MSE Op, and Supply Tech

Thanks for providing so much info about your trade. I was wondering what some of the less appealing aspects of your work might be? Also, what does a 'typical' day involve? If there is such a thing.


Well, that's a big question to answer. I'll try my best.

If you work an F&E (Furniture and Effects) section your day is filled with processing CF member's moves, contacting moving companies to book moves, rates for moves and storage of personal effects. As well, F&E is responsible to go out and evaluate the movers on site while they load/unload CF member's belongings. This is to ensure that everything is packed, moved and accounted for correctly. They also had out fines to moving companies that break rules in the contracts.

If you are posted to a CMTT you'll do shipping and receiving of freight and UAB. You'll ship freight and UAB to other destinations in Canada. For example if Cpl Jones is going on course and is flying, he'll want to ship a barrack box or 2 out ahead of him. When ever possible CMTT will ship through CF transport that my already travel to the destination. There are times that either the CF doesn't travel to destination or the item needs to be there yesterday, so they also do shipping through commercial companies.

Working in a Passenger Terminal is like any airline. They check in passengers and their luggage do security checks on luggage and advise travelers how late the flight is going to be.

Now Cargo Operations (there is only one and it's in Trenton) is one of the busier jobs. In Cargo Ops a team receives all the freight from across Canada and builds it onto 108x88 aircraft pallets and LD containers in order to ship it to destination. This consists of placing freight on the pallet in pre-designed configurations based on the aircraft it will be shipped on. All pieces TCN numbers are scanned and handed off to the Back Log Clerk who inputs the pieces on Way Bills for shipping. One of the Supervisors in Cargo will take all the info regarding the 108x88 aircraft pallets and LD containers and input it on a Weight and Balance form. This is when the ability for take off is determined. Occasionally pallets are switched around to give the aircraft a better centre of balance.

Line Crew is one of those jobs where when there is lots to do your overworked and other times there is very little to do. They work 12hr shifts 6 to 6, but they work only 15 days a month. Here is what their schedule looks like, D-Days O-Off and N-Nights
DD OO DDD OOO NN OO NN OOO. So if you take 2 days annual at the right time in your schedule you'll get a week off. Line Crew starts off each day doing Driver Inspections of all the vehicles they may use throughout the course of their day. Then they wait, unit an aircraft needs to be loaded/unloaded or a Search and Rescue change (consists of moving Search and Rescue equipment to a new plane).

These are just some of the many jobs that are our basic bread and butter. It's some of the side jobs that get our trade really recognized, example becoming a loadie.

When DART went to Sri Lanka, how did their equipment get there and back. Like I mentioned in a previous post, if the CF is going anywhere on OPS or EX there will be Traffic Techs to load and unload on both ends and a loadie to baby sit on the flight. I think the whole joke about the Air Force staying in hotels on exercise comes from Traffic Tech trade. When you're the first in to OPS or EXs there are no accommodations set up so they usually put us in hotels.

If you're more interested in a 0730 to 1600 job, F&E and CMTT or a combination of the two are at every CF base and most stations. That being said if you like the opportunity to travel, see the world, make some extra money and be at the heart of the operation than Trenton is the place to be. Here at Trenton CMTT, Cargo, Line Crew and the Passenger Terminal all come under one command, that is after you've worked in one department for a couple of years they can move you to another with out posting you. It's a good system and you don't have to worry that your whole career is going to be the same day in day out.

On a side note, I know a guy that finished his QL3s in June. He's already been to Montreal to ship humanitarian aid to Haiti, Thule Greenland for Ops called Box Top and he just got back from Sri Lanka.

Another 2 guys off the same course just spent a grueling 5 weeks in Zagreb with the close out of OP Palladium. It must have been treacherous living in the Sheraton Hotel with no mini bar in their rooms.

That's enough for now, but feel free to ask questions anytime.
These are both from within the last year.

Photo 1


Private Philippe Blouin of 2 Air Maintenance Squadron, based in Trenton, Ontario, helps fellow Canadian soldiers unload baggage containing their personal and protective equipment, at the Port-au-Prince International Airport. These soldiers will be taking part in Operation HALO, in Haiti.

Photo 2

Ampara, Sri Lanka

Master Corporal Rob King, a Traffic Technician with the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), measures the weight of a sea container that is ready for shipping to Canada. MCpl King from Moncton, New Brunswick is in Sri Lanka to provide humanitarian aid.
Here are some loadies at work.

Photo 1

8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, Canada

During an exercise, a CH-113 Labrador helicopter hovers while the loadmaster hoists a search-and-rescue technician from the waters of the Bay of Quinte. The SAR tech is wearing a special immersion suit that protects him from hypothermia.

Photo 2

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Aboard a CC-130 Hercules at Kandahar International Airport, American soldiers help two Canadian Forces loadmasters unload a vacuum unit for emptying the holding tanks of portable toilets, a device that will do much to improve the quality of life of Canadian troops deployed here. Master Corporal Paul Makarchuk (left) is from 429 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario; he and his fellow loadmaster are members of the 200-strong Tactical Airlift Detachment (TAL Det) deployed in the Arabian Gulf region on Operation APOLLO, Canada's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.
well thank you very much for those pictures  ;D

i would have to say it would be interesting to work on a Search and Rescue aircraft