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    Afghan leaders visit Air University, experience USAF officer training, development programs



    Story by Capt. Edith Sakura 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing

    Capt. Eydie Sakura
    438th Air Expeditionary Wing

    KABUL, Afghanistan – Two Afghan Air Force officers from Pohantoon-e-Hawayee (PeH), or Afghan Air Academy, visited Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., to see first-hand the intellectual and leadership center of the U.S. Air Force

    The PeH commandant and PeH chief of staff, spent several days at Maxwell with their Train, Advise, Assist Command – Air (TAAC-Air) escort, Lt. Col. David Hauck, PeH senior mentor. They spent the majority of their time at Officer Training School but also visited the Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College.

    “We exchanged experiences about curriculum development and implementation [of training],” the PeH commandant said through an interpreter. “It’s about building relationships with people at Maxwell AFB.”

    The commandant said he’d like to get his PeH instructors through the OTS ‘instruct the instructor’ course as it will create an even more professional environment for his instructors and the cadets going through the course.

    “We always want to move ahead,” said the PeH chief of staff through an interpreter. “It’s good to be connected to the greatest air force and work from their model. We’d like to have PeH stay connected with OTS. This would be a huge achievement for the Afghan Air Force.”

    The visit was not all briefings and discussions. Air University hosts showed them “Project X,” a leadership reaction course that teaches Airmen and joint service members problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. They also talked to OTS trainees at the “ropes course,” a confidence and team building part of officer development.

    We showed them everything we have at OTS, from the classrooms, auditoriums, field sites and necessary facilities such as the dining facility and dormitories, said Maj. Reynaldo Bautista, OTS Detachment 12 student squadron commander.

    “We tried to show as much actual live training with cadets from drill instruction to a graduation parade,” the major said. “The amount of training from the beginning thru the end of the syllabus really seemed to have impressed [the Afghan visitors]. An established partnership can bring about a lot of ideas and resources, as well as experience the Afghan Air Academy can tap into to improve their air force specific commissioning source."

    The small Afghan contingent took a field trip to Tuskegee, Alabama, where they learned about the Tuskegee Airmen and how they overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II.

    “People are treated fairly [at OTS and the Air Force],” the PeH chief of staff said through an interpreter. “The doors are open to everyone and to every ethnicity. It was amazing to see the school’s prayer area where all religions had a place. There was equality. We brought this idea back to our religious and cultural affairs director.”

    Our nation and our allies will be successful in the future by working together, and having this partnership is a great start in building a strong foundation, Bautista said.

    The PeH commandant shares this sentiment and believes development of young officers is vital to mission success.

    “The only way out of [combat and warfighting operations] is to have leaders of moral character,” he said through an interpreter. “[The cadets] need to stand for their rights and be proud.”


    Date Taken: 08.15.2015
    Date Posted: 08.15.2015 01:06
    Story ID: 173298
    Location: KABUL, AF

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