Ready to win the fight

Ready to win the fight

By Dialogo
March 06, 2014



For over 70 years, the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA), located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, has lead the way in building partner-nation capacity through the training and education of over 45,000 Latin American military and civilian personnel. The curriculum offered at IAAFA is as diverse as the students who attend, offering 34 courses that directly support the Intermediate Military Objectives (IMO) of U.S. and Partner Nation forces in Latin America. Threats from violent extremist organizations (VEO) and narcoterrorists continue to pose challenges on the front lines of Latin America every day. While brave men and woman are fighting the enemy on the war-front, IAAFA is doing its part to ensure Latin American personnel are properly trained on the home-front. The J-85 Engines Technician, Pilot Instrument, and Corrosion Control Courses, which are taught completely in Spanish by hand-selected subject matter experts from IAAFA, help to do exactly that. Through these courses, partner nation military and civilian forces improve their ability to safely launch, fly, and recover missions supporting counterdrug, counterterrorism, and humanitarian operations throughout Latin America. Following is an explanation of those courses in order to highlight the integral role IAAFA plays to ensure partner nations are ready to win the fight.


J-85 Engines Technician Course

Once an aircraft has completed its engine run and other maintenance checks, it is normally ready for takeoff. However, without a pilot that is trained to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), missions that will encounter instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) cannot be flown. That is the knowledge IAAFA’s Pilot Instrument Courses provide during the demanding 11-week, 330-hour course taught by eight permanent party instructor pilots from the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay. The Pilot Instrument Procedures Course (PIPC) focuses on teaching flight instrument procedures to basic military pilots from Latin America and the Instructor Pilot Instrument Procedures Course (IPIPC) focuses on teaching experienced Latin American pilots how to teach instrument procedures as instructor pilots. Students receive over 140 hours of classroom instruction and 78 hours of training in ten CR-12 King Air Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) flight simulators. The CR-12 AATDs are the latest technological innovation incorporated into the course, which allow for individualized instruction, greater fidelity in the flight controls, and the ability to fly anywhere in the world using the world-wide GPS database. It is quite typical to witness partner nation instructors paired to fly with Colombian Army helicopter pilots, Ecuadorian Naval aviators, Dominican Air Force fighter pilots, or Mexican National Police pilots, all of whom are performing a fix-to-fix, flying instrument approaches or executing holding patterns in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules and procedures.

Pilot Instrument Courses

Once an aircraft has completed its engine run and other maintenance checks, it is normally ready for takeoff. However, without a pilot that is trained to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), missions that will encounter instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) cannot be flown. That is the knowledge IAAFA’s Pilot Instrument Courses provide during the demanding 11-week, 330-hour course taught by eight permanent party instructor pilots from the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay. The Pilot Instrument Procedures Course (PIPC) focuses on teaching flight instrument procedures to basic military pilots from Latin America and the Instructor Pilot Instrument Procedures Course (IPIPC) focuses on teaching experienced Latin American pilots how to teach instrument procedures as instructor pilots. Students receive over 140 hours of classroom instruction and 78 hours of training in ten CR-12 King Air Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) flight simulators. The CR-12 AATDs are the latest technological innovation incorporated into the course, which allow for individualized instruction, greater fidelity in the flight controls, and the ability to fly anywhere in the world using the world-wide GPS database. It is quite typical to witness partner nation instructors paired to fly with Colombian Army helicopter pilots, Ecuadorian Naval aviators, Dominican Air Force fighter pilots, or Mexican National Police pilots, all of whom are performing a fix-to-fix, flying instrument approaches or executing holding patterns in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules and procedures.


Corrosion Control Course

Once counterdrug, counterterrorism, and humanitarian missions are complete and the aircraft has returned safely to the ramp, the danger does not subside. Technicians must constantly ensure that the aircraft is free from the effects of corrosion. Corrosion is an unmerciful enemy that wages war on all metal structures, and it will destroy an aircraft by slowly eating away at its structural integrity. Therefore to win the fight against corrosion, one must first understand the enemy. That is the knowledge the Corrosion Control instructors provide to the students that attend the six-week, 180-hour course offered at IAAFA.
From the time the students enter the state-of-the-art training facility, equipped with the new virtual STAR4D software, all the requirements for detecting, preventing, and treating corrosion on aircraft are taught with an emphasis on Technical Orders and safety procedures. Students complete laboratory experiments that demonstrate real life scenarios on how corrosion starts and propagates in different types of metals, as well as learn the various stages of corrosion. Laboratory curriculum also includes how to remove and treat corrosion while emphasizing cost-effective, organic coating application techniques. Using the STAR4D software, a paint simulator that is capable of fixing structural defects utilizing different techniques, tools, paints, and textures, students are provided with instant feedback on the efficiency of the coating application. The system allows students to hone their coating application techniques to become effective and efficient painters, while also providing an eco-friendly and hazard free learning environment. Students then use the learned skills to practice paint application on simulated aircraft parts in a modern, downdraft paint booth that is designed to remove 80 percent of volatile organic compounds.
While violent extremist organizations (VEOs) and narcoterrorists continue to pose challenges on the front lines of Latin America every day, IAAFA has played an integral role in ensuring military and civilian personnel are properly trained to face those threats.
Share