The Royal Saudi Air Force’s Commander visited Davis-Monthan for a first-hand look at Exercise ANGEL THUDNER May 8 to 10.
Lieutenant General Pilot Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, commander of the RSAF, led the Saudi delegation during the visit. The visit included a tour of the 612th Air and Space Operations Center and a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, to monitor Exercise ANGEL THUDNER scenarios.
The 612th AOC provides command and control of air and space power in United States Southern Command’s area of responsibility. In support of USSOUTHCOM’s Theater Security Cooperation plan, the 612th AOC partners with Caribbean, Central, and South American air forces to forge relationships that will enhance security and cooperation within the AOR.
It provides the Combined Forces Air Component Commander the necessary tools to plan, execute, and manage any type of Air campaign in the USSOUTHCOM’s AOR.
The 612th AOC is also the innovative leader of all AOCs for real-world execution and operational testing in air, space, and information operations. The expansive communications infrastructure installed at the 612th AOC makes this facility ideal for testing new command and control, communication, and intelligence systems prior to fielding the capabilities within AOC’s around the globe.
Another area of interest during the visit was the ongoing Exercise ANGEL THUDNER.
While visiting exercise sites in Northern Arizona Al-Ruwaili witnessed demonstrations by helicopters and C-130s as well as a mass casualty scenario.
Exercise ANGEL THUNDER is the largest and most realistic joint service, multinational, interagency combat search and rescue exercise designed to provide training for personnel recovery assets using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies. It is the only exercise in the Department of Defense covering personnel recovery training across the full spectrum of irregular and conventional warfare and has become the world’s largest and most complex personnel recovery exercise.
During Exercise ANGEL THUNDER personnel recovery forces train through the full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities with ground recovery personnel, air assets, Special Forces teams and federal agents.
Saudi Arabia is a vital U.S. ally in the gulf region and provides a geo-strategic access to the region. The U.S Air Force and the RSAF share a very close mil-to-mil relationship that includes training, exercises, personnel exchanges and significant foreign military sales interaction.