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Team AUAB trains with QEAF fighters

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

When someone thinks of firefighters, the first thing that comes to mind is a depiction of them saving kittens from a tree, Dalmatians, or riding in the iconic fire truck. United States Air Force firefighters, specifically the ones at Al Udeid Air Base, take on a lot more than one would think.

The 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron fire department coordinated training with Qatar Emiri Air Force counterparts to familiarize themselves with the F-15QA, Feb. 9, 2022. The F-15QA is one of the most advanced variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle made by Boeing, and the model that the United States Air Force’s new F-15EX Eagle II is modeled after.

“We respond to most, if not, every call on the flight line,” said Tech. Sgt. Kevin Conlon, 379th ECES firefighter. “The QEAF has their own fire department, but they look to us for support because of our experience working with aircraft so frequently. Our guidelines for handling aircraft incidents is tried and true, and they recognize this.”

Recently, the first few of this cutting-edge fighter aircraft was delivered to Al Udeid AB, and with continual training the ECES firefighters will have a glimpse at what working with an F-15EX will be like.

“For all of us out here, it’s our first time seeing or even being up close to an F-15QA,” said Tech. Sgt. Larry Roark, 379th ECES firefighter. “Getting to see the differences between a standard Eagle and this new aircraft is extremely valuable for us and the QEAF. If they needed us we could be right there with them responding to an aircraft fire and know what to look for and how to help.”

Even in a deployed environment, training is at the forefront of the 379th AEW’s priorities when it comes to enhancing the capabilities of coalition and host nation personnel leading to an efficient working partnership.

“Training together is paramount to mission success for both parties,” said Tech. Sgt. Alexis Smith, 379th ECES fire and emergency services assistant chief of training. “Ensuring that [USAF] and [QEAF] are on the same page both in the air and on the ground allows for smooth and seamless joint operations. Leveraging shared knowledge and experiences benefits everyone involved, which is what we want to promote as much as possible.”

Units across Al Udeid AB are constantly finding ways to integrate host nation partners into their mission set, which is critical to generating decisive air power and ensuring the security of the region.