Our people: Corporal Caylen Dorrington

News Article / March 11, 2020

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From 12 Wing Public Affairs

Corporal Caylen Dorrington joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2014, after her parents convinced her to take advantage of the military’s paid education program.

She started her higher education at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro in the animal science program, with a minor in zoology. She was working three jobs to pay for school when her parents—both retired military—mentioned the CAF option.

After making the leap, Corporal Dorrington completed her Aviation Systems Technician (AVN) training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, Ontario, in 2016. Posted to 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, in 2017, she was among the first wave of apprentices on the new CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.

Corporal Dorrington worked as the lead for the maintenance crew at 12 Air Maintenance Squadron (12 AMS), and was responsible for assigning jobs, gathering parts, and developing new technicians. When asked about her role there, she says, “These jobs could range from filling up the tires with nitrogen to changing the helicopter engine. A majority of the time, I have new techs working for me, and I am responsible for their development. I really enjoy teaching them.” Subsequently, she was posted to 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron and earned her Level A Certification.

During her time in Shearwater, she has been involved in the infrared testing on the Cyclone at CFB Valcartier, Operation Generation, and the 600-hour inspection of the aircraft, which included the first Quick Change Assembly on type. “We learned a lot,” she says, “and hope some of the new changes will be implemented in the next 600-hour inspection.”

“What I like about [12 Wing],” she continues, “is how open everyone is. When you show initiative, everyone is very willing to help you out to succeed.”

Corporal Dorrington has even developed a strategy for dealing with the cold when working outside on the aircraft. “With the winter weather, I have a ‘onesie’ in my locker to keep me warm,” she says. “People laugh at me, but I’m nice and warm.”

In April 2019, Corporal Dorrington and her cheerleading team, the Extreme Athletic Devils, competed in the World Cheerleading Championships held at the ESPN Centre in Orlando, Florida; they placed 14th in the world and first in their provincial division. She has recently retired from cheerleading but has other goals on the horizon. “Cheerleading is a full-time commitment,” she says, “accompanied by long practices and many competitions that I just couldn’t fully dedicate myself to at this time.”

Although she will miss the sport dearly, her main focus now is on preparing herself so that she is ready to deploy, and training for a five-kilometre race called “Do it for Dads”. Corporal Dorrington is running the race in June, and will be raising money for prostate cancer research.


Join the RCAF - Dare to be extraordinary

Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators use advanced electronic sensor systems to operate airborne sensors onboard long-range patrol aircraft, maritime helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

They are responsible for detecting and tracking submarines, providing support for search and rescue operations/medical evacuations, and assisting other government departments and agencies in the collection of evidence and counter-narcotics patrols.

Their primary technical functions are to:

         - Operate radar, electrooptic/Infrared systems, magnetic anomaly detection, and electronic warfare equipment
         -  Take airborne photography
         - Load and arm airborne weapons, and search stores systems
         - Operate the helicopter-mounted machine gun system
         -  Operate unmanned aerial vehicle electronic sensor systems
         - Communicate with internal and external agencies; both civilian and Allied forces
         - Collect evidence


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