RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
For U.S. Air Force captains, it is a requirement to receive Squadron Officer School training. Until recently, the only place to attend the course was Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, but now the training is available in Germany.
The Inter-European Air Force Academy on Kapaun Air Station provides an Inter-European Squadron Officer School that is the equivalent to attending the SOS at Maxwell.
Capt. Justin Schmidt, 37th Airlift Squadron pilot, and Capt. Alexander Roosma, 1st Combat Communications Squadron transmissions systems flight commander, attended the IESOS alongside officers from 13 other countries, and were accredited for their required training.
“I absolutely enjoyed the course,” said Roosma. “Getting to hear from peers in other countries and getting a peek of each of their cultures and our similarities was a great experience.”
IEAFA is open to U.S. Airmen, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Partnership for Peace countries.
“It was very interesting,” said Schmidt. “There were a lot of different perspectives, so the discussions we had in class were very unique from what you would have had in a normal SOS class.”
The IESOS course offers a curriculum that teaches lessons in ethics, problem solving, warfare and international security.
“The IESOS curriculum is taken directly from the SOS offering at Maxwell to include both classroom lessons and experientials outside the flight room,” said Capt. Matthew Kinard, IEAFA dean of academic affairs. “While SOS students get perspectives of different career fields, the IESOS students gain insights from a vast number of different cultures.”
Now that there is a class available in Europe, it will save the Air Force time and resources from having to send students back to the U.S. Another benefit of the course is the training environment offered to students who undergo it.
“The primary benefit a program like IEAFA brings to the Air Force is developing officers who have a unique perspective of the European area of responsibility,” said Kinard. “By incorporating the international viewpoint into discussions, these individuals gain a more global view of these subject areas. This builds a more cross-culturally competent Airman who can bring the lessons learned from this experience and help lead in a coalition environment.”
For more information about IEAFA and their courses visit www.usafe.af.mil/Units/Inter-European-Air-Force-Academy/ or call DSN 478-6185 or commercial 06371-405-6185.