Leaders for NATO’s Next Air Campaign

F-16s crews from the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, flew to Albacete, Spain, for NATO’s month-long Tactical Leadership Program. Working with aircrews from Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain, the Spangdahlem airmen are training through Nov. 30 to plan and execute integrated coalition air campaigns. “We are able to integrate the pros and cons of each asset now so we can push forward as one unit, which is much more effective than 10 to 15 nations acting separately,” explained Lt. Col. Douglas Sirk, Warrior Prep Center Detachment 1 commander, in Spangdahlem’s Nov. 19 release. Over the course of 16 missions, the crews are learning to communicate and merge the capabilities of different aircraft and country-specific quirks through standardized procedures. “They’re basically the same, but the terminology is different; the pace of battle is a little different” between countries, said 480th FS pilot Capt. David Dubel. The exercise began on Nov. 5. (Albacete report by SSgt. Daryl Knee)