CAAs demonstrate aviation capabilities
By Senior Airman Dylan Gentile, 919th Special Operations Wing
/ Published June 29, 2021
DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Combat Aviation Advisors from the 711th Special Operations Squadron recently gathered to discuss aviation capabilities with members from partner-nations as part of the Building Partner Aviation Capacity Seminar also known as BPACS.
International military students from Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Jordan were in attendance at the course.
“BPACS benefits the 711th SOS by giving us an opportunity to discuss what we can help build with our partners,” said Capt. Frederick Feigel, chief of advanced training at the 711th SOS. “The program also spreads awareness of our aviation capabilities before we work with our partner nations.”
BPACS is a two week course hosted by the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School that brings personnel from partner nation militaries together to educate them on U.S. aviation enterprise development as it relates to national security strategy.
“My nation has a younger Air Force, so we can learn a lot from U.S. aerial capacity,” said Maj. Cuthbert Somda, commander of a helicopter squadron in Burkina Faso. “This has been a wonderful opportunity to see how our partnership with the U.S. is building our capabilities.”
The program covers joint, interagency, and international perspectives on airpower provided by the United States.
BPACS also leverages the mission-set of the CAAs who integrate themselves side by side with military partners across the globe helping them develop their aviation practices and capabilities.
“We’re very happy to see two of our colleagues participating from the Royal Jordanian Air Force,” said Feigel. “We’re working with them, explaining our capabilities and building plans that meet their needs.”
One component of BPACS was a tour of a few of the airframes operated by the 919th Special Operations Wing. The CAAs demonstrated the airpower offered by the C-145A Combat Coyote, C-146A Wolfhound and C-208 Cessna Caravan to the international partners.
“I’m very interested in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities [offered by the 711th SOS,]” said Cuthbert. “BPACS has been very useful because we can see how aviation capacities grow and then put it into practice.”
During the seminar, participants also covered topics such as strategy, security cooperation, air traffic control, civil-military relations and aviation advisory techniques. The group also got the opportunity to tour the Armament Museum at Eglin as well as the National Naval Aviation Museum in nearby Pensacola.
“Hosting our partners, explaining how U.S. operations with aircraft work, and how Air Force Special Operations Command fits into that is very beneficial,” said Feigel. “We’re helping to educate our partners on our capabilities and hopefully providing local solutions to local problems.”
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