Air Advisors help build capacity in the Mauritanian Air Force’s C-208 Program

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  • By 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron
  • 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron

Airmen assigned to the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron recently trained with 21 aircraft maintainers and aircrew members of the Mauritanian Air Force C-208 program on aircraft wiring fundamentals and aircrew ground training.

This mission followed an assessment in March, where 818th MSAS Air Advisors assessed the Mauritanian Air Force’s aircraft maintenance procedures as well as aircrew training programs to better inform future training between the U.S. and Mauritania.

“Our common passion for aviation quickly established a bond that overcame language or cultural barriers that may have existed. We hope that the training they received from this mobile training team will help them sustain their C-208 flying program,” said Lt. Col. Philemon Sakamoto, 818th MSAS director of operations and Mobility Pilot Air Advisor.

A cornerstone of security in the region is the Mauritanian C-208 program, which provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the Mauritanian government and broader G5 Sahel coalition. Following years of wear and tear on these aircraft, the Mauritanians shared with 818th MSAS Air Advisors that multiple issues regarding cables and wiring for the ISR suite onboard their C-208’s were heavily degrading their mission effectiveness.

This information allowed the 818th MSAS to request two Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems Airmen from the 305th MXS and 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to assist in teaching the course. This relationship with other units on base is key to the success of the 818th MSAS and highlights the combined abilities of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

“Being an air advisor augmentee was an eye opening experience,” said Tech. Sgt. Kevin Vergo, 605th AMXS, “Seeing that side of the mission-set helped my understanding of how important the work is that’s being done by the 818th MSAS.”

Additionally, the 818th MSAS provided classroom training to Mauritanian Air Force pilots and Sensor Operators on topics covering Crew Resource Management, Instrument Flying Procedures, and Instructor Fundamentals. This training aligns Mauritanian Air Force aircrew training with U.S. Air Force best practices and enhances interoperability in future joint exercises and missions.

This advising mission was the second phase of a three-phase series that will continue through 2023. Previously, the 818th MSAS had provided training centered on C-208 engine maintenance and will continue to advise the Mauritanian Air Force on other key aspects of their C-208 program. This will include assisting with equipment procurement and acting as a conduit between U.S.-based contractors and the Mauritanian Air Force.