First Reservists Train as Combat Advisors

Five special operations airmen recently became the first Reservists to complete baseline certification to become combat air advisors. Assigned to Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th Special Operations Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., the pilots, loadmasters, and engineer began training in March to become trainers embedded in foreign air forces worldwide. “This is the beginning of several years of intensive flying, ground and language training for the multitude of Reserve personnel we expect to enter the CAA program,” said Col. Andy Comtois, 919th SOW commander. Lt. Col. Rodrido Vial, Maj. Michael Black, SMSgt. Chris Maradik, MSgt. Michael Sims, and TSgt. Randy Hoppock graduated the preliminary phase at Hulburt Field, Fla., on May 27. They will now undergo several months of intense linguistic and flight training on a variety of foreign aircraft before graduating as CAAs in October. (Hulburt report by TSgt. Samuel King)