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Royal Saudi AF training leader visits Sheppard
Royal Saudi Air Force Maj. Gen. Saeed Muedh Alzahrani, commander of the RSAF Technical Studies Institute, meets with munitions maintenance students from the 363rd Training Squadron on the Sheppard Air Force Base flightline Feb. 21, 2013. Alzahrani visited the base to get a first-hand look at the overall technical training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joshua Felton)
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Royal Saudi AF's top training leader sees 'inspiration' at Sheppard

Posted 2/21/2013   Updated 2/21/2013 Email story   Print story


by Dan Hawkins
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

2/21/2013 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Royal Saudi Air Force's top training leader visited here Feb. 21 for a first-hand look at the 82nd Training Wing and the facilities used by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Airmen-in-Training.

Maj. Gen. Saeed Muedh Alzahrani, commander of the RSAF Technical Studies Institute, led the Saudi delegation during the visit. The Technical Studies Institute is responsible for all RSAF basic and technical training.

The number of Saudi airmen-in-training at U.S. air bases increased after last year's completion of a $29.4 billion Foreign Military Sales agreement for the purchase of 84 F-15SA fighter aircraft, as well as upgrading RSAF's fleet of 70 F-15S aircraft to the SA model. 

Saudi airmen train directly with personnel from other services during their time here and the visit gave the RSAF delegation a chance to see the overall training life of Airmen-in-Training, regardless of country, while at the base.

"He (Alzahrani) was very interested in every aspect of our operations," said Brig. Gen. Michael Fantini, 82nd Training Wing commander. "Tthe 'inspire' piece of our wing mission statement was one of the key peices of our training that he was excited about."

Incorporating the inspiration aspect to training and making sure the RSAF Airmen are exposed to every element of the training environment was high on the priority list for the RSAF, Fantini said.

Another strong area of interest during the visit was the professional development training offered by the Air Force.

"The RSAF were very impressed with our NCO Academy," said Chief Master Sgt. Eric Johnson, 82nd TRW command chief. "Developing every aspect of their force continues to be a focal point for them."

After breakfast at the Tumbleweed dining facility and an office call with Fantini that included a wing mission briefing, the visitors were shown RSAF training areas in the 361st, 362nd and 363rd Training Squadrons.

This included apprentice course training in F-15 tactical aircraft maintenance, F-15 aircraft armament systems, munitions systems and propulsion systems.

RSAF students also got the opportunity to attend an all-call with Alzahrani at the Solid Rock Café for a question and answer session about the student experience at Sheppard.

Later in the day, the delegation viewed the RSAF dorm areas before heading to the 82nd Training Wing conference room for a round-table discussion on overall program operations.

Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Alghamdi, F-15 project officer and director of procurement, along with Brig. Gen. Abdullah Saleh Alqahtani, base training and KKT commander, were also part of the RSAF delegation.

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