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Army GLO impacts mission for Air Force fighter pilots at Bagram

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 455 AEW Public Affairs

U.S. Army Captain Andrew Littel, 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron ground liaison officer, is a critical link between ground forces and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft flying overhead supporting them.

Capt. Littel, a GLO for two and a half years deployed from Aviano Air Base, Italy, is responsible for ensuring Air Force fighter pilots here get briefed on missions that can impact their sortie, as well as ensure Viper drivers understand and have a good perspective of what guys on the ground are going through.

Littel is the only Soldier among an entire Air Force squadron, and the duty and experience he brings to his job here is invaluable to the squadron.

“I bring my fires and maneuver experience to the team here. I get to work directly with the pilots, which is an exciting experience,” he said. “As a ground forces guy, I’m able to translate between the Army and Air Force.”

Prior to becoming a GLO, Littel went through different training, including the Joint Firepower School at Nellis Air Force Base, N.V., and the Air and Space Operations Course at Hulbert Field, Fla. That training and experience ultimately landed him in his current position in the 555th EFS.

“This is a joint fight that we’re in. I let the pilots know what constraints the guy on the ground deals with and what enablers he has with him. I do this every day,” he said. “It’s great because these guys fly all over the country; it’s not just a small theater.”
Working with both branches, Littel has been able to experience management on all levels with the Air Force and the Army.“I’ve learned a new way that organizations can function from both the leadership and management perspective. People are all the same; Airmen and Soldiers are motivated by the same things…to do a good job and do what the country asks them to do,” Littel said.

According to the 555 EFS commander, Littel is vital to the mission here at Bagram because his training and experience as a Soldier enables him to help, guide and teach Air Force pilots about the ground forces they are supporting.

“The only reason the squadron is here is to work in conjunction with the ground forces, and the only way we can do that well is to have someone explain to us and go over all the detailed integration that’s necessary for us to perform,” said Lt. Col Byron Pompa, 555th EFS commander. “Capt Littel provides that detailed integration piece on a daily basis that allows us to be as effective as we are. The experience that he can share with the pilots brings a new perspective to what we’re seeing on the ground and how we can better do our jobs.”

With the Army’s Birthday approaching, Capt. Littel shared his views on how proud he is to be a Soldier serving alongside Airmen.

“The Army has been doing its thing for 240 years. I’m proud to be a part of it, and I’m excited to celebrate with the Air Force Academy grads. I’m a West Point grad, so we like to joke and have fun,” Littel said. “I’m just really honored to be able to be here supporting the mission with my Air Force brothers.”

Littel will continue to provide ground force support to the fighter pilots and help complete the mission here at BAF while the squadron is deployed in support of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.