Laughlin Pilot Helps Iraqis Earn Their Wings

Since last year’s pullout of US forces from Iraq, the massive US training and advising apparatus has shrunk there, but some US military advisors remain. One of them is Lt. Col Chris Lachance who’s deployed from the 85th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB, Tex. He acts as the security assistance lead at al Sahra Airfield in Tikrit for the US embassy’s office of security cooperation. “I look at the big picture of the Iraqi training mission from here to see if they are being taught and properly engaged,” said Lachance. He’s one of just three airmen who review and advise more than 800 civilian-contracted instructors and Iraqi airmen at al Sahra who are training Iraqi students using T-6 Texan II aircraft, like those used stateside at Air Education and Training Command bases. “We are teaching them to be a lot like Laughlin,” said Lachance. “A pilot here or at Laughlin would recognize the training.” (Laughlin report by A1C Nathan Maysonet)