NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. â€” Members of the U.S. Air Force Weapons Schoolâ€™s 19th Weapons Squadron, at Nellis AFB, Nev., assisted the Royal Saudi Air Force with the integration of intelligence specialties into the Saudi weapons school curriculum.
Maj. Joseph Ladymon, USAFWSâ€™ director of staff, and Capt. Brian Redstone, USAFWS intelligence curriculum instructor, joined Capt. Patrick McMorrow of Luke Air Force Base as consultants to the Saudi schoolhouse on behalf of the U.S. Military Training Mission, Saudi Arabia. The three officers are all USAFWS graduates.
â€œThe Saudis are reaching to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School as a model to emulate,â€ said Redstone. â€œThey are in the early stages of achieving integration and our job was to help them bring in the intel perspective.â€
The purpose of USAF Weapons School is to take the Air Forceâ€™s best operational specialists and make them experts in all the Air Forceâ€™s capabilities, as well as experts in using those capabilities alongside those of other military branches. Graduates of the schoolâ€™s doctorate-level curriculum serve as weapons officers, advisors to military leaders at all levels.
Although the RSAF weapons school does not currently include the same diversity of specialties as the USAFWS does, their long-term goals are similar. Ladymon said that the Saudi Air Force has â€œimpressive driveâ€ for seeking professional improvements.
â€œThe Saudis view the [USAF] Weapons School as something they want their school to be — a â€˜gold standard,â€™â€ Ladymon said. â€œGetting to go there allowed us to help them get closer to their goal, and for us to see how to best work with their strengths and limitations to achieve it.â€
Redstone said the RSAF has a â€œsuper starâ€ professional officer and enlisted intelligence staff within its operational organization. By incorporating the intelligence field into their weapons school, the Saudis will strengthen the abilities of their flying staff and the intelligence personnel alike.
â€œYouâ€™re starting to see a generation of professional, USAF-trained people reaching leadership positions within the RSAF,â€ he said. â€œThey realize the inherent value of bringing intel into their curriculum.â€
Ladymon pointed out that his teamâ€™s role was to advise the RSAF on several possible courses of action towards achieving what would ultimately, and appropriately, become Saudi choices and plans.
â€œWe took our experience and brought that to the Saudis — but they will determine how to use it,â€ he said. â€œIt will be a Saudi decision and a uniquely Saudi implementation, but I definitely see them going in the right direction.â€
Ladymon said the teamâ€™s role was part of a long-term training partnership between the U.S. and Saudi air forces, one which has paid dividends during actual operations.
â€œThis is not the first time, and not the last time weâ€™ll assist our Saudi partners,â€ he said. â€œI hope to see it spreading. Missions like this help all our partners get better and let us work together more effectively across the Coalition.â€