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Make it Better: PSAB Airmen participate in RSAF’s premiere aircrew training course

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

Building a coalition is fundamental to any nation’s strength to hinder malign actors. Those partnerships provide the capabilities needed to deter misadventures. The United States has partnered with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the ability to defend the region from credible threats and protect coalition forces on the ground.  

To further integrate with the Royal Saudi Air Force, Airmen assigned to the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, participated in the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Warfare Center training at King Abdulaziz Air Base, KSA.

“We are always looking into ways to improve how we engage our mission partners and strengthen our coalition in the region,” said Brig. Gen. John Walker, 378 AEW commander. “It is of utmost importance for us to be able to train, work and conduct missions with our RSAF counterparts when called to do so.”

RSAF senior leaders invited the wing’s 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to take part in the employment phase of their Weapons Instructor Course training, Feb. 23-26, 2020.

“This is a great opportunity for our aircrew members,” said Maj. David Garcia, 494 EFS pilot and exercise detachment commander. “This training underscores our cooperation with our RSAF partners and helps us to better integrate both our forces while conducting bilateral operations in the region.”

WIC training is hosted by RSAF’s Air Warfare Center and is designed to provide RSAF aircrew members rigorous training to improve combat capabilities and interoperability with other coalition partners in the region. The employment phase is the final portion of the training in which instructors evaluate each aircrew’s progress and sees them put what was learned into action. This is presented through a series of scenarios aimed at testing their ability to respond using the principals taught throughout the course.

The phase saw members from the 494 EFS integrating with RSAF aircraft, such as the Panavia Tornados and F-15S Eagles.  In addition to flying friendly forces with their RSAF counterparts, U.S. forces flew as red air, otherwise known as the simulated enemy forces, to enhance the exercise.

“By providing a human simulated threat, we are improving our pilots’ reaction to realistic threats in a combat environment, said Capt. Andrew Schloemer, 494 EFS pilot.

“It allows us to put actions behind our words,” Garcia added. “We are practicing actual combat scenarios that our coalition may face. It is indispensable to strengthening our already strong partnership.”

“This course is very similar to our own training exercises and programs back in the U.S.,” said Garcia. “It’s amazing to see how far our RSAF partners have come in intricate training programs such as this one. I hope this becomes a regular opportunity for our U.S. forces in the future.” 

“We are here to get better,” said Schloemer, 494 EFS pilot. “What we are doing is creating the building blocks to success for future operations together.”