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News > Japanese officers: Columbus' pilot training is 'impressive'
JASDF officers call SUPT “impressive”
Japanese Air Self-Defense Force officers Col. Masaharu Iwaoka and Maj. Satoru Oshima, Personnel and Education Department, speak with Japanese student pilots currently in Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The visit gave the JASDF officers a close look at SUPT and how their students are being trained. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chase Hedrick)
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Japanese officers: Columbus' pilot training is 'impressive'

Posted 3/8/2013   Updated 3/11/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Chase Hedrick
14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

3/8/2013 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Two Japanese Air Self-Defense Force officers visited Columbus AFB Feb. 26 to 28.

Col. Masaharu Iwaoka and Maj. Satoru Oshima of the Personnel and Education Department traveled from Japan to gain a better understanding of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Mission here.

"It was great; a very useful experience," said Iwaoka after touring training facilities and meeting with commanders, instructor pilots and Japanese students in training here.

The JASDF colonel said the system for pilot training at Columbus AFB is impressive, noting the base's consolidated training process as a point of interest.

"In Japan one base has one kind of airplane so we need to move the students across bases," he said. "In Columbus there are three kinds of aircraft so it's very easy for students to study. "

Select students from Japan are trained through Foreign Military Sales, a program that allows allies to train their student pilots alongside U.S. Air Force student pilots using an identical syllabus.

"I really appreciate the United States Air Force's hard work to give the students a better education," said Iwaoka. "The system of education here is very good for students; it improves both their skills and motivation."

Currently nine JASDF student pilots are training at Columbus AFB. A portion of the visit was dedicated to allowing those students to speak with Iwaoka and Oshima about the training environment and their experiences so far.

"The Japanese students here said that they really appreciate not just the instructor pilots but also the supporting personnel," said Iwaoka. "They especially appreciate their U.S. classmates, who are always taking care of Japanese students and studying with them to help teach concepts."

It is interactions between classmates in the international training environment at Columbus AFB that will strengthen the countries' joint operations he said.

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