Air Force Reservists of the 5th Special Operations Squadron are now helping to train Active Duty airmen at Hurlburt Field, Fla., in operating the AC-130U gunship, according to a release. They began their instructor roles in September in support of the 19th SOS, the Active Duty formal training unit, states the Dec. 4 release. “The Reservists bring continuity and depth of experience to the training environment,” said Maj. David McGourin, one of the Reservists who teaches pilots and copilots. “They also have a large amount of operational, combat, and instructional experience that allows them to adapt to the needs of the student and be flexible in their approach with the students,” he added. The goal is to have three full Reserve crews for the training, which would make Reservists approximately 40 percent of the AC-130U instructor force, states the release. “I enjoy passing on what I’ve learned to the students,” said Maj. Francis Poindexter, a Reservist who teaches the gunship’s fire control officer course.
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.