First Iraqi Enlisted Chief Visits Air University
By Dialogo December 14, 2010
The first chief master sergeant of the Iraqi air force visited Air University in 7 December, to examine how U.S. officials educate their Airmen.
The visit marks the first time the Iraqi chief has been to the U.S., and was designed to give him a sweeping look at enlisted and officer education across the spectrum of Airmen’s careers.
His visit to Maxwell Air Force Base was part of a tour of a few Air Education and Training Command bases.
While at Maxwell AFB, the chief was briefed on a number of entities, including the first sergeant academy, the officer training school and the international officer school.
He also met with his U.S. counterpart, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, who was at Maxwell AFB the same day. The two chiefs addressed members of the senior NCO academy.
The Iraqi chief’s visit will serve to reinforce U.S.-Iraqi ties, as well as bolster each air force’s understanding of the other, Chief Roy said.
“The visit is of mutual benefit to both of us,” he said. “It can only continue to strengthen our great relationship with Iraq and the Iraqi air force.”
The visit represents only a fraction of how the Air Force engages the Iraqi air force.
“We have air advisers working with the Iraqi air force every day,” Chief Roy said. “They are there to advise and help Iraq continue to build their air force.”
Chief Roy’s visit to Air University comes on the heels of his visit to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, where air advisers are trained. The AETC course resides within the expeditionary center there.
Cooperation among all levels of the military is crucial to partnering with other nations, Chief Roy said.
“I meet with my peers in different countries very frequently,” Chief Roy said. “When we need to call upon them, or they need to call upon us, we’ve already established those relationships.”
In a similar fashion, the enlisted, officer and civilian Airmen trained as air advisers will work with numerous countries’ militaries, he said.
Just weeks before the Iraqi chief visited Air University, U.S. Air Force air advisers watched as Iraqi airmen completed their second-ever launch of a Hellfire missile from an AC-208 Cessna Caravan Nov. 8, at Sather Air Base, Iraq.
Maj. Devin Traynor, one of the air advisers present at the exercise, commented at the time on how air adviser involvement has been integral to such milestones.
“We have been working with our Iraqi partners on the various pieces that make up such a complex mission,” Major Traynor said. “The air advisers have played a crucial role in developing these capabilities within the Iraqi air force.”
The Iraqi chief was accompanied on his trip to the U.S. by his air adviser, Chief Master Sgt. Scott Fuller, the command chief for the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing and Iraq Training and Advising Mission – Air Force, in Baghdad.
About 250 U.S. Airmen serve as air advisers to their Iraqi counterparts, said Master Sgt. Mike Edwards at the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs office.
They play an integral role in everything from fuels to transportation to maintenance, as well as flying aircraft.
Almost everything that it would take to run an effective air force has an air adviser assigned to that mission.
After visiting Air University, the chief master sergeant of the Iraqi air force planned to visit Lackland AFB, Texas, and Randolph AFB, Texas.