386th AEW Airmen, Italian Air Force strengthen partnership via immersion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing and the Italian Air Force’s Task Group Typhoon participated in a new immersion program hosted by the 407th Air Expeditionary Group, Feb. 19 at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base.

The immersion program allows both forces to meet and discuss each nation’s mission strategies while enhancing their skills together as a cohesive team.

“I found the networking and mission overview of the Italian Task Force Typhoon visit to be the most beneficial,” said Staff Sgt. Samantha Edsall, 386th AEW intelligence noncommissioned officer in charge. “In a dynamic (area of responsibility), it can be very helpful to be provided with opportunities to meet with our coalition partners, and experience what it is like to support the mission from their perspective.”

The immersion included a Task Group Typhoon capabilities briefing, followed by a tour of an Italian Air Force F-2000 Eurofighter Typhoon.

“The meeting was extremely useful to share experiences, better understand each other’s roles and capabilities to become even more efficient in planning and executing Inherent Resolve flying missions,” said Italian Air Force Lt. Col. Nasto, Task Group Typhoon commander. “Moreover, it was another chance to consolidate and strengthen the long-lasting cooperation between partner nations.”

During the immersion tour, Airmen and their Italian Air Force counterparts were able to ask each other questions about flying strategies, capabilities and technologies.

According to Lt. Col. Jesse Stubbs, 407th AEG deputy commander, this professional military education-style series was started in an effort to mirror programs in place at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. The Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, begin with a capabilities brief from all participating major weapons systems.

This gives aircrews from other weapons systems perspective on how they can integrate their platforms together, Stubbs continued. As a mission partner and host for the Eurofighter Typhoon Group, it is essential to maintain strong relationships and inform posture decisions for the future of this theater. Stubbs also explained that this PME started the 386th AEW on the path to maintaining a vibrant information-sharing relationship.

“Each of us play an integral role in supporting the 386th AEW mission as a whole and when we take the time to step outside of our daily operations and see how others execute their support, it really brings the big picture together,” Edsall said.

Fostering a partnership between U.S. and Italian forces is vital to maintaining air superiority over the AOR. Each nation plays a role in combat airpower while developing tactics together to safely carry out their operations.

“The relationship between Italy and the United States has deep historical roots and currently is stronger than ever in training and operational scenarios,” Nasto said. “Meeting and sharing knowledge is a key factor in order to operate and cooperate in a conscious way.”

The 386th AEW will continue to visit units and partner forces throughout the future. This new, monthly program aims to build and shape partnerships by sharing knowledge and experience with one another, permitting increased capability and interoperability.