CAF Story | Painting the Picture for Anti-Submarine Warfare

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Well, there’s a lot of stereotypes that come with what type of things you’ll be good at. And, I mean, I have an art background, so when it comes to charts and spatial awareness, I already have a lot of background that lends itself toward that.

And I was always excellent in math. So, that helps as well because so much of our job depends on doing math quickly or doing dead reckoning or just checking the numbers make sense when you’re flying somewhere.

So, all of that is a skill that I’ve been learning for years and then gone to more school and courses in my military career in order to work on that. And that just has to do with the fact that my brain is very good at that.

I’m Captain Jennifer Bass. I am an Air Combat Systems Officer and I currently work at 415 Squadron in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Before I joined the CAF, and actually, I still am an oil painter. I also used to do book arts as well for my undergrad degree. After that, I went to Acadia Divinity College and I have a Master of Arts in Theology specializing in Hebrew Bible and I’m currently doing a Master of Arts in études canadiennes and that is through the Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg.

The Aurora is Canada’s long-range patrol aircraft and our speciality is anti-submarine warfare.

We’ll do our patrols on either side of the country, of course, mostly over ocean, but it’s also totally able to go overland. So, we took it to Kuweit based on its surveillance abilities.

We’ll do generally very long flights in order to collect information. We can do everything from fishing patrols to Arctic sovereignty to drug interdiction with the plane.

So, I have definitely encountered sexism in my job.

Though, not as much from people in the military as people outside of the military who thinks that we couldn’t possibly do what we are doing.

A lot of them would be like: “Oh, you can’t possibly… You’re not strong enough.”

We have the same physical requirements. We go to the gym, we do everything. There is nothing physically that I am unable to do that somebody else can.

Or one of the other ones is just that you’re too emotional. Which is also ridiculous because my job is not based on emotion in any way, shape or form.

Well, I would say for women who are looking at joining, definitely keep up all of your math and your science jobs. This is really going to be extremely valuable. You might not think it, be it really, really will be. It will make everything so much easier and give you a lot more opportunities as you get older and start looking at what careers you want to do.

It’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be interesting, it’s gonna be difficult. There’s going to be people who think it’s silly or get angry or don’t like what you’re doing, but it’s very rewarding.

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