ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Eleven instructors with the 421st Combat Training Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, flew out to the Pacific Regional Training Center-Andersen, Guam, to conduct an air advisor course, March 27 to April 17, 2023.
Students were given lessons in two main categories: combat skills and cultural awareness.
Combat skills consisted of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, convoy procedures, advanced combat firearm training and more. Cultural awareness training taught students specific cultural understanding relevant to Indo-Pacific nations.
“Air advisors learn to communicate and work with other cultures,” said Tech. Sgt. Mika Pajas, 421st CTS air advisor course instructor. “This course gives Airmen a great baseline knowledge of what to expect when meeting with partner nations.”
According to Robert Schugart, 421st CTS air advising course director, military advising has been part of the U.S. Armed Forces operations for decades. From World War II to present day, the military has trained, advised and equipped foreign forces with the assistance of military advisors.
Following the events of 9/11, the U.S. Air Force expanded its role in building
partnerships. Thus, the demand for air advising became more prevalent. In 2006, this demand was fulfilled when the Air Force Central Command initiated the air advisor course.
Schugart said that this instance of the AAC is the first in which instructors packed up and took the course away from its main training center at JBMDL to conduct an iteration of the class.
Airmen from a variety of career fields are encouraged to take the course. 1st Lt. Wyatt Huff, an AAC student with the 736th Security Forces Squadron, explained that having different skills, specialties and perspectives in a mission environment is essential.
“This training is a really good introduction to working together with other career fields,” Huff said. “You learn to build good cohesion for future missions.”
Additionally, this course gives Airmen the capabilities they need to work with foreign forces.
“Building those partnerships is key, especially out here in the Indo-Pacific,” Huff said. “We’re only as strong as our partners in the region.”