GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A delegation from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), led by Air Vice Marshall Pongsawat Jantasarn and Pacific Air Forces senior leaders, visited Goodfellow Air Force Base to learn more about the base’s growing international intelligence training program Aug. 2.
The visit, a first of its kind for the 17th Training Wing (TRW) and its Royal Thai Air Force partners, was part of a larger tour, which included a stop at Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio - Randolph, Texas. The overall intent for the visit was to share with Royal Thai Air Force partners how the U.S. Air Force organizes, trains and equips its intelligence professionals to achieve mission success. The visit also informed Royal Thai Air Force partners of AETC potential training opportunities.
“Air Vice Marshal Pongsawat of the Royal Thai Air Force and his team visited the 17th Training Wing in order to develop a deeper understanding of both our International Intelligence Applications Officer Course and what customized training we could provide to his nation,” said Col. Robert Ramirez, 17th TRW vice commander. “The Royal Thai Air Force does not currently have a separate intelligence career field; this visit provided a tangible step in establishing a professional intelligence career field for them and an opportunity to strengthen the alliance we currently have between our two nations.”
While at Goodfellow AFB, the delegation visited 17th Training Group’s International Intelligence Training Center (IITC). The IITC, which opened in January 2018, provides the International Intelligence Applications Officer Course. The course provides the standard for security, intelligence and analysis between America and her allies. The course totals 496 curriculum hours, has a 1-15 instructor to student ratio and is instructed in English. The IITC is the result of an extensive collaborative effort between Goodfellow AFB, the City of San Angelo and Tom Green County.
The team observed a daylong-integrated analytics exercise by 315th Training Squadron intelligence officer students and 11 international students from nine different countries. The students analyzed a report on a fictional missing person. They developed a hypothesis on why this character went missing based on previously gathered intelligence, created a plan to locate the missing person and discussed their plan with the instructors. The exercise placed emphasis on how the individuals from other countries may develop their plans differently than American students.
"Combined exercises is just one reason why Goodfellow (AFB) is and should be the training location of choice for our international partners," said Lt. Col Abraham Salomon, 17th TRG deputy commander. "We believe a holistic approach to integration inside the classroom academically, across the base and rooted in the local community will create strong ties."
The following day, the delegation visited 17th Training Support Squadron’s Faculty Development Flight. The Fac D Flight exposed the Royal Thai Air visitors to how the Air Force trains and manages its instructor cadre, to include an overview of instructional systems design. Overall, the visit reinforced the 17th TRG’s vision to set the standard for fully integrated intelligence training and education.
“I’m excited to be part of the broader Air Force and Department of Defense priorities, by welcoming and teaching our international partners,” said Master Sgt. Zachery McNair, 315th TRS section chief.
Pongsawat expressed gratitude for the tour and hopes the experience gained will further strengthen the bond between the RTAF and the U.S. military.