BAHRAIN – (Ninth Air Force) Air Forces Central recently partnered with the Royal Bahraini Air Force for a C-130J Hercules subject matter expert exchange focused on building the relationships needed to provide the area of responsibility of the US Central Command Trained and Ready Forces, June 14-16.
Airmen from the 386th Air Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and aircrews from the 41st Expeditionary Airlift Squadron participated in the event with their RBAF counterparts where they exchanged best practices for operating and maintaining the C-130J.
“Our purpose of the exchange was to identify where the RBAF was at with respect to their expansions to their C-130J program,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Tyler Hoff, officer in charge of the 386th AEAMS.
The overall objective of the PME exchange was to improve crew knowledge, modify training plans, improve operational awareness, and exchange expertise with a USCENTCOM partner nation. .
“We provided [RBAF members] with background information, training plans and identification of challenges they might overcome,” said Staff Sergeant Jesse Silvis, 386th AEAMS crew chief. “For example, we provided them with an on-the-job education and training plan to help identify the main task someone in a specific career field needs to know to progress in their training.”
During the exchange, an open dialogue was maintained to enable a cross-flow of information between RBAF and USAF maintenance team leaders who discussed the tactics, techniques and procedures of the C -130, establishment of supply chains, system management, aircraft maintenance and metric tracking and planning.
The exchange also incorporated more efficient and effective training methods to create new maintainers and keep current ones qualified and up-to-date on the latest information needed for proper maintenance operations.
“The exchange was based on discussion; we opened it up in the room to the topics we covered and learned how the RBAF worked,” Hoff said. “[We] provided information on how the US Air Force works and gave them recommendations and surface level information that they could potentially do to see an immediate change in their current program.
During the event, USAF Airmen were also given a tour of the facilities to observe maintenance operations with current resources available to better understand changes that could be made to improve RBAF capabilities. .
Likewise, crews on both sides analyzed aviation operations and responsibilities and discussed what exactly it means to be part of a crew and an allied nation to build strong relationships.
“After speaking with the Bahrainis, I think [the most important] the bottom line is that cooperation between our nations is doable,” said Captain Ryan Christopherson, pilot of the 41st EAS C-130J. “Now how to get there is the process.”
The two nations interacting with their counterparts, provided new insight and perspective on various topics such as crew status, the importance of crew coordination, tools for unit safety, as well as crew limitations and the importance of level upgrades to achieve maximum crew readiness.
“We were trying to set up [familiarization] training for Bahrainis,” Christopherson said. “But that seemed to turn into the RBAF looking to get involved in more C-130 operations to work with and better assist allies in the Gulf region.”
This was the first such exchange between the United States and Bahrain, as well as the first time that aircrews and maintenance teams had the opportunity to work closely together and help each other. The two-day exchange played a vital role in the future development of both air forces’ growing capabilities to provide security in the U.S. Central Command AOR.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a great experience for me,” Christopherson said. “During our stay there, [I learned] there are goals we both have in mind and similar understandings.
This opportunity was the first step for AFCNET Airmen to create a standard of integration with the RBAF and increase cooperation.
“Building more property for those who live in the area is good because we support them and want to see them succeed in everything they do and help contribute more to the mission,” Christopherson said.
|Date posted:||07.06.2022 08:59|
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