Firefighters from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing’s Contingency Response Group provided a familiarization course to 12 Lithuanian airmen Dec. 4 on Ramstein.
The course started off with a classroom discussion on U.S. search and rescue procedures and techniques and ended with a demonstration from the Lithuanian firefighters, showcasing what they had learned.
“Attending these courses is great, because it provides us an opportunity to improve on our own techniques,” said Capt. Mykolas Liugas, Lithuanian air force pilot. “After learning what we can here, we will take that knowledge back to our country and compare it to what we do so we can increase our response capabilities.”
While the class focused on improving interoperability between the two nations, it also helped bring in ideas on how the firefighters can improve the air policing missions in the Baltic region.
“Better understanding each other’s techniques allow smoother operations in the field,” said Tech. Sgt. James Hickman, 435th CRG NCO in charge of rescue and contingency fire training. “It’s reassuring to know both countries understand the same procedures, even if we don’t speak the same language.”
By hosting six to eight courses a year with different countries in Europe attending, the 435th CRG Airmen aims to promote a fluid working relationship in a controlled environment, which will help during any future contingency operations.
“It’s the exchange of ideas with the various countries that will help us as a whole,” Hickman said. “We will even go to their country to learn and work together, not only to improve ourselves but to build a rapport so the mission can run smoother.”
Liugas said he hopes to continue working with the CRG Airmen as the skills shared between the two countries is invaluable.