ATHENS, Greece --
The Inter-European Air Forces Academy (IEAFA) and subject matter experts from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Safety Office successfully concluded a two-week Inter-European Aviation Safety Program Management course on Kavouri Air Base, strengthening alliances and building partnerships, Sept. 24, 2021.
Students from three countries spanning all services attended the course where they studied risk management, aviation safety programs, and mishap response. These modules provide students with opportunities to develop individual skills as well as interoperability with Allies and Partners, setting the stage for agile combat employment and future work in multi-national exercises and operations.
Second Lieutenant Georgios Karampasis summed up his experience, “I believe that these courses are an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange views and experiences of aviation people from all over NATO [and] it is an amazing opportunity to standardize procedures and highlight differences.”
As students participated in multiple classroom sessions, there were “breakout” team sessions where in-classroom tablets brought in-resident and remote students together in small groups to solve problems and develop presentations. A site visit to a combat fighter wing and expert guest presentations such as the one provided by the Director of Research and Development of the Hellenic Flight Safety Center broadened the conversation on aviation safety. In the final module of the course, IEAFA debuted its newly–updated virtual reality mishap response training tool with additional training scenarios and added learning objectives. IEAFA’s Commander, Lt. Col. Robin Cadow noted, “This enhanced VR trainer is especially valuable in the European theater as, in the event of a mishap, first responders on scene are likely to be from an Allied or Partner nation, making a common approach to mishap response all the more significant.”
IEAFA’s Aviation Safety Program Management course contributes to focused development of a common safety culture and a cadre of NATO and Partnership for Peace aviation safety professionals who together can continually improve the safety of air operations in Europe.
Since its first course in 2016, IEAFA has trained and educated over 1000 students from over 40 Allies and Partners across the European theater. Through its direct organizational alignment with the Warrior Preparation Center, U.S. Forces Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa A3/10, and its close ties with USAFE-AFAFRICA A5/8/9, IEAFA remains an agile and responsive tool to support the commander U.S. Forces in Europe’s priorities and to develop interoperability of the theater’s only common weapons system: its people.