May 4, 2012

Air Force weapons officers advise Royal Saudi Air Force

By 1st Lt Ken Lustig
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Major Joseph Ladymon, United States Warfare Center director of staff, and Capt. Brian Redstone, 19th Weapons Squadron intelligence instructor, stand in front of the United States Air Force Weapons School April 23, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Ladymon and Redstone assisted the Royal Saudi Air Force in creating an intelligence weapons division by providing a roadmap on how to construct one effectively.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Members of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’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, USAFWS’ 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.

“The Saudis are reaching to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School as a model to emulate,” said Redstone. “They are in the early stages of achieving integration and our job was to help them bring in the intel perspective.”

The purpose of USAF Weapons School is to take the Air Force’s best operational specialists and make them experts in all the Air Force’s capabilities, as well as experts in using those capabilities alongside those of other military branches. Graduates of the school’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 “impressive drive” for seeking professional improvements.

“The Saudis view the [USAF] Weapons School as something they want their school to be — a ‘gold standard,’” Ladymon said. “Getting 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.”

Redstone said the RSAF has a “super star” 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.

“You’re starting to see a generation of professional, USAF-trained people reaching leadership positions within the RSAF,” he said. “They realize the inherent value of bringing intel into their curriculum.”

Ladymon pointed out that his team’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.

“We took our experience and brought that to the Saudis — but they will determine how to use it,” he said. “It will be a Saudi decision and a uniquely Saudi implementation, but I definitely see them going in the right direction.”

Ladymon said the team’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.

“This is not the first time, and not the last time we’ll assist our Saudi partners,” he said. “I hope to see it spreading. Missions like this help all our partners get better and let us work together more effectively across the Coalition.”

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