Learning One Another’s Business

The 494th Fighter Squadron wrapped up a month-long NATO tactical leadership program Oct. 7. Eight F-15E Strike Eagles and approximately 130 airmen from the 494th FS at RAF Lakenheath, England, trained with NATO partners at Los Llanos AB, Spain, beginning on Sept. 12 to prepare its flight leaders to become coalition air force mission commanders, according to a 48th Fighter Wing release. “The ability to be here, with multiple nations briefing, debriefing, planning for hours on end, and then seeing how that plan was executed, is extremely beneficial from a tactical and partnership standpoint,” said Capt. Brian Valichka, a 494th FS weapons systems officer, according to the release. “Seeing how other countries do business and then being able to show them how we do business, is the best way forward.” The program was formed by a memorandum of understanding between 10 NATO members: Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, and the United States.