BANGLADESH AIR FORCE (BAF) BASE BANGABANDHU, Bangladesh -- U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and members of the Bangladesh air force (BAF) shared tactical airlift knowledge during a subject matter expert (SME) exchange Feb. 19, 2022, as part of Exercise Cope South 2022.
During the exchange, aircrew, maintainers, and operations support specialties from both militaries were able to share knowledge as a way to improve their proficiency in executing the exercise’s tasks, and ultimately enhance their interoperability.
U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. TJ Yonkauske, 36th EAS C-130J Super Hercules pilot, said the SME exchange is an invaluable piece to the exercise and improves the two air forces’ performance when working as a team.
“We’ll be conducting air drop operations and airborne operations with some of their paratroopers,” said Yonkauske. “We will also have some of their aircrew members sitting in the cockpit with us, more or less watching how we run these operations in a tactical environment. With that rapport already established by working with them now, they can get a better idea of what to expect when they come up in our aircraft.”
Aircrew from both militaries were able to advance their understanding about C-130 aircraft capabilities, low level flight techniques, aircrew flight equipment nomenclature and crew resource management.
By the end of the exchange, aircrew from both air forces we’re able to expand their knowledge in preparation for the exercise’s planned training sorties.
“This is a good way to set the standard,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Toiannah Campbell, 36th EAS loadmaster. “They’re really taking everything we’re saying to heart. We’re learning that they have their way of doing things and we have our way of doing things. Nothing’s necessarily wrong … it’s just different. I think it’s very beneficial for us to take in everything they have so we can see things in a different light.”
More than 70 U.S. Air Force Airmen and one U.S. Space Force Guardian from five bases across the Pacific Air Forces, trained alongside approximately 300 BAF members in an effort to exercise tasks, evaluate proficiency, and identify future training to enhance partnership capability.
Exercise Cope South is a bi-annual Pacific Air Forces-sponsored bilateral tactical airlift exercise designed to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Bangladesh to improve their ability to work together when responding to real-world contingencies.