Defense

December 17, 2012

AFSOC builds partnerships with sister services, foreign militaries

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SrA. Melanie Holochwost
Hurlburt Field, Fla.


More than 30 service members and civil servants from 10 different countries gathered at Hurlburt Field, Fla., to attend the Building Partner Aviation Capacity Course Dec. 3 to 14.

BPACC was designed as an avenue for Air Force Special Operations Command to create, nurture or deepen partnerships with foreign militaries, sister services, and other Air Force major commands.

During the course, international students from Afghanistan, Angola, Cote D’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Germany, Mauritius, Paraguay, Rwanda and Zambia are embedded with American students from across the joint aviation community, including Special Operations Forces and conventional Air Force, Army and Navy organizations.

One of the students, Lt. Col. Gabriel Medina, Dominican Republic Air Force Academy vice commander and fighter pilot, said the course opened his eyes to the strategic side of aviation.

“I learned that sometimes leaders use aviation to develop things that don’t have anything to do with the military or even aviation,” he said. “For example, aviation can be used as a tool to build tourism, which is the largest source of revenue in my country.”

Prior to this course, Medina said he never understood why there were so many airports in the Dominican Republic.

“I thought it was happening by accident because we have a lot of airports for such a small country,” he said. “But, now I understand there was probably a clear purpose and objective behind it – tourism.

“Basically, when you build an international airport, tourists will come,” Medina added.

Maj. Frank Weise, German Air Forces Command plans and requirements officer, said he attended BPACC to prepare for future missions.

“Germany is geographically close to Africa so it makes sense that we will increase our involvement with them in the future,” he said. “If there is an opportunity to go to Africa, I will apply for it. This way I can bring the information I learned in this course down to the tactical level on the field.”

Weise said the course also gave him one thing that wasn’t listed in the syllabus.

“I have seven new friends from Africa,” he said. “That alone is a great tool to take with me.”




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