Kecskemét Air Base, Hungary --
Inter-European Air Forces Academy leadership were reunited with former graduates of the program during 2021’s Agile Combat Employment-focused European Partnership Flight at Kecskemét Air Base, Hungary, June 6-12.
IEAFA alumni played an active role in supporting and leading several portions of the week-long event. Bringing the IEAFA mission to life in a unique way, the conference brought together delegates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the U.S. bringing the IEAFA mission to life in a unique way.
“IEAFA’s mission is to strengthen allied and partner nation cooperation through education and training of our one common weapon system, people,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robin Cadow, IEAFA commandant. “Three of our IEAFA alumni are actively working together to shape the ACE construct in the European theater.”
One IEAFA graduate, Maj. Thomas Nolta, currently serves as the Assistant Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Hungary.
“Upon graduation from our academy, students realize that the exchange of ideas, cultures, traditions, and experiences in our courses creates new networks and strengthens bonds of friendship and cooperation amongst themselves and our nations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Theresa Askew, IEAFA superintendent. “They are better equipped for future operations because these courses not only increase ally and partner interoperability, they also deepen trust on the very human level that organizations like NATO and Partnership for Peace depend upon.”
Danish Capt.Tommy Mortensen, acting chief of garrison and coordination branch at Aalborg Air Base, Denmark, an IEAFA alumnus, led the first of many briefs during the EPF event, sharing experience and perspective on behalf of the Danish air force.
“The shared knowledge of the overall ACE concepts and the expectations from various nations to plan and conduct support for partner nations only underlines the importance of having these events,'' said Mortensen. “One of the important aspects is to understand the differences between the many nations and how we can work towards a common solution.”
IEAFA leadership shared more about the program with the multinational air force delegates throughout the EPF conference, and former students gave testimonials about their experience at the academy.
“It was serendipitous for three of our prior students to attend this EPF,” said Askew. “Their willingness and enthusiasm to share their stories is a true testament of the impact their experiences at IEAFA have had on them and their careers.”
In addition to Mortensen, Capt. Sylvan LaChance, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron air advisor flight commander, shared her IEAFA story and how she relates it to the week’s ACE focus.
“To me, IEAFA builds the bridges that the ACE model depends on,” said LaChance.
Cadow commented on how rewarding it was to witness the three alumni taking an active role as subject matter experts sharing their knowledge with 10 other attending nations.
“Our students are operationalizing the relationships built, trust fostered, and leadership lessons learned at IEAFA to ultimately enhance security and stability for our allies and partners across the European theater.”
Since its official activation in 2016, IEAFA has seen over 1,000 graduates from 42 different countries throughout Europe and North America. The program currently offers six independent courses all aimed to develop allies and partners and increase interoperability.
For more information on IEAFA, you can visit their website at www.ieafa.org or by emailing USAFEWPC.IEAFA.firstname.lastname@example.org.