U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing provided advanced air traffic control familiarization training to Ukrainian military members at Ramstein Air Base, Sep. 9-15.
The training marked the second time this group of Ukrainians visited Ramstein in pursuit of developing their knowledge of ATC concepts. The previous iteration of training in July 2021, provided Ukrainian members with basic fundamentals while this training focused on contingency operations, and landing zone and safety officer fundamentals.
“This time around, we are looking at the tactical level and focused more on the contingency aspect,” said Master Sgt. Michael Jaeger, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron air traffic control air advisor. “They will not be conducting air traffic control duties at a facility like the one at Ramstein, instead, in an austere environment.”
Airmen from the 603rd Air Operations Center briefed Ukrainian military members on airspace considerations used by the U.S. Air Force to effectively deliver aircraft, assets and supplies to allies and partners.
“Ideally, we would like our Ukrainian counterparts to take the information we are providing and use to it to refine their tactics, techniques and procedures, so they can be more effectively employed in the battle space” said Capt. Ryan Wall, 435 CRSS air advisor airfield operations officer.
Air traffic control training helps the Ukrainian military by giving them an in-depth understanding of how the U.S. Air Force manages aircraft during contingencies, while also providing opportunities to build relationships and increase interoperability with U.S. servicemembers.
“The first time we had to speak through a Ukrainian interpreter, ‘breaking the ice’ for conversation was rough. This time, conversation flowed more fluently, and we received questions regarding not only the topics being discussed but additional topics as well,” Jaeger said.
Ramstein has served as the global gateway for decades, providing support to Ukraine is no exception. After a week of training, the Ukrainians are returning home, however the 435th AGOW mission to build and sustain partnerships will continue.
“It was a rewarding feeling having five Ukrainian officers show up to Ramstein for training,” Wall said. “We offer this training to any allied and partner nations to help bolster partner capacity and strengthen regional relationships.”