Eight F-15E Strike Eagles from the 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England, and approximately 130 airmen are taking part in NATO tactical leadership training at Los Llanos AB, Spain, until Oct. 7. The training is meant to prepare flight leaders to become coalition mission commanders, according to a 48th Fighter Wing news release. Capt. Dale Gogan, the 494th FS’ Tactical Leadership Program mission commander, said the multilateral training allows the airmen to “get prepared and integrated now in an environment where we can debrief well together before we work in an expeditionary environment,” according to the release. Airmen from Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom are also participating. The program, which kicked off Sept. 12, will include class work and training sorties.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.