Air Advisers Branch reaches new level

by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing’s Air Adviser Branch executed five missions at once, the most it has ever done in one week, Sept. 15 to 19 in three NATO countries.

The Air Adviser Branch is reaching out to three partner countries with five different missions, traveling to learn and develop from each other in order to allow streamlined work and partnership in the future. The Air Adviser Branch has executed more than 70 missions across Europe and Africa since it was formed in 2012. Until recently, the average number of missions in a single week had been two.

“We have never executed this many at once during a single week,” said Maj. John Sherinian, 435th Contingency Response Group Air Adviser Branch chief. “These (missions) represent months’ worth of diligent work, for which there are no set checklists for our Airmen to follow. Every mission is a little different and has its own nuances, and the AGOW’s air advisers executing these missions have met the challenge.”

These missions are critical to helping Airmen learn to work and develop with NATO countries, because they may have to deploy with them in the future. Knowing how each other works allows them to be in sync from the beginning.

To accomplish five missions at once, the advisers required coordination with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, embassy staff, state partnership program Guard members in the U.S., and directly with host nations to plan, overcome obstacles and execute the missions.

Airmen from medical, communications, operations, fuels and safety are traveling to Latvia, Poland and Bulgaria with the intent of developing each other.

“Each of these missions helps build partnership capacities in three ways,” Sherinian said. “We advise our partners on tactics, techniques and procedures on Air Force missions that they want to improve or learn how to execute themselves. We introduce our USAFE professionals to the various people and cultures around Europe, which allows for relationships to grow, and that in turn fosters partners to work with in the future. We learn from them. Building partnerships is a communicative process. We share with them, and they share their processes and experiences for us to learn and develop.”

The five missions will come to an end today, with organizers hoping all parties took something away that may help in the future.