(Ninth Air Force) Air Forces Central recently partnered with the Royal Bahraini Air Force for a C-130J Hercules subject matter expert exchange focused on forging relationships needed to provide the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility with trained and ready forces, June 14-16.
386th Air Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen and 41st Expeditionary Airlift Squadron aircrews participated in the event with RBAF counterparts where they exchanged best practices for operating and maintaining the C-130J.
“Our goal of the exchange was to identify where the RBAF was in regard to their expansions to their C-130J program,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Tyler Hoff, 386th AEAMS officer-in-charge.
The overall goal of the SME exchange was to enhance crew knowledge, modify training plans, improve operational awareness, and exchange expertise with a USCENTCOM partner nation.
“We provided [RBAF members] with general information, training plans, and the identification of challenges they could overcome,” said Staff Sergeant Jesse Silvis, 386th AEAMS crew chief. “For example, we provided them with a career field education and training plan to help identify the core task someone in a specific career field needs to know to progress through their training.”
During the exchange, open dialogue was maintained to allow for a two-way crossflow of information between RBAF and USAF maintenance crew chiefs who discussed C-130 tactics, techniques and procedures, establishing supply chains, system management, aircraft upkeep, and metric tracking and planning.
The exchange also incorporated more efficient and effective training methods to create new maintainers and keep current ones skilled and up-to-date on the newest information needed for proper maintenance operations.
“The exchange was discussion based; we opened it up around the room to topics that we brought up and learned how the RBAF operated,” said Hoff. “[We] provided some insights on how the U.S. Air Force operates and gave them some recommendations and surface level information that they could potentially do to see immediate change within their current program.”
During the event, U.S. Air Force airmen also received a facility tour to observe maintenance operations with current resources available to better understand what changes could be made to improve RBAF capabilities.
Likewise, aircrews on both sides analyzed aeronautical operations and responsibilities and discussed what exactly being a part of a crew and allied nation truly entails to build strong relationships.