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IAAFA reaches out to the Pacific Theater

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Preston
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Multinational students and U.S. Air Force instructors came together from around the globe to learn and expand on allied air forces capabilities throughout the region during an Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course event here Aug. 2-20, 2021.

The AMOC consists of organizational structure and management skills to include quality assurance, maintenance programs and procedures for aircraft maintenance. The goal of the course was to give students the essential tools and skills to help them during their maintenance careers.

Instructors from the Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, teach this 10-week course three times a year, which usually takes place at JBSA-Lackland. Students typically consist of members from South America and the Caribbean.

This is the first time the class was held in the Pacific Theater. Andersen AFB presents many advantages within the Pacific, such as providing the opportunity of lower operating costs and maximizing student participation in the region. Accommodations were made to bring the course to Guam and share it with students from four partner nations -- Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

“We get to share our knowledge and expertise, which will in turn continue to build and strengthen our partnerships in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gustavo Cifuentes, IAAFA instructor.

For three weeks students engaged in classroom lectures, educational tours and the application of skills in a training simulation. They learned new techniques and operating procedures to take with them and apply within their respective air forces.

“Among us students with different nationalities and with our instructors, I get to learn more of how they manage and run their aircraft towards mission accomplishment,” said Philippine Air Force Capt. Jenivie Maramo, 432nd Technical Training Squadron commander.

From the event’s start in November of 2020 to departure, four International Military Student Officers with the 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron here have taken each step with students and instructors to ensure all needs and administrative requirements were met. Working with the 36th CRSS, the team of instructors condensed the material into a more manageable timeframe, while simultaneously ensuring the class was tailored to the location.

“This was no easy feat and required a herculean effort to execute the program from inception to completion,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jandrew Taala, an IMSO with the 36th CRSS. “We are responsible for ensuring all aspects of the course are managed and executed accordingly.”

Courses like this allow the U.S. Air Force to expand a network of aircraft maintenance professionals throughout the region. They allow members to connect with partner nations, to strengthen bonds with them, and to interact with each other through open discussion.

“The U.S. Air Force is constantly learning from its allies and growing alongside them,” Cifuentes said. “These events connect partners throughout the region and promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise for the progress of joint air forces across the Indo-Pacific.”