Romanian soldier, U.S. continue NATO’s mission of peace

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron hosted their first coalition forces partner student into their European Transportation Training Center’s aircraft deicer qualification training course on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, from May 30 to June 10, 2016.

Romanian Land Forces Warrant Officer, Bogden Cosma, Heavy Airlift Wing vehicle maintenance NCO-in-charge assigned to Papa Air Base, Hungary, attended the course in which students learned the device’s advanced hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems and also trained them on diagnosing, assessing and troubleshooting the vehicle when problems occur.

The event itself may appear to be a regular training course; but on a larger scale, Cosma’s attendance symbolized one of the many ways NATO allies work together.

“It’s all about team effort – team work,” Cosma said. “That’s what I learned in the first place, here. It’s all about communicating and trying to learn and work as a team.”  

Cosma’s current assignment in Hungary focuses on the Strategic Airlift Capability program, in which the HAW ensures air power and support is allocated where it is needed. He attended the course as the overseer of the more than 30 vehicles and their maintenance at his station.

The first half of the course subjected Cosma and fellow students to the academics portion in which students sat in a classroom environment and learned the theories and mechanics of the deicer device.

The second half consisted of a hands-on portion where Sagisi showed his class how to apply the theories and lessons learned from the first half of the course to an actual aircraft deicer.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Slater, 52nd LRS European Transportation Training Center director, said he selected Cosma for the course to broaden the scope of the center’s impact.

“We were looking for ways to reach out to help our coalition partners based on where we’re at geographically and partners with NATO forces and how we interact together with, not just combating terrorism, but also bringing stability and peace to the area that we’re operating in," Slater said. "It simply can’t be done without understanding cultures in the areas that we’re working in and, more importantly, embracing those cultures and including those cultures with the mission sets that we have.”

Instructors, like Pedro Sagisi, the training course’s technical training instructor, spoke of Cosma’s character as a fine representative of the Romanian Land Forces: someone who holds their job seriously, maintains professionalism at all times and understands the importance of teamwork.

“We need more people like him,” Sagisi said. “He’s really hard-working and he’s not afraid to get dirty, even though he’s a warrant officer – that speaks highly of him.”

According to Slater, NATO members help the 52nd Fighter Wing with different mission sets throughout the European Command theater of operations. He reached out to the consortium in Papa, Hungary, which consists of 12 nations, who aid Spangdahlem with ground transportation specialties for attendance in the course.

“It’s all about partnerships and peace all over the world, and I’ve always felt that that’s what the Air Force tries to project most of all,” Slater said. “It’s all part of one team, one fight.”

Before heading back, Cosma remarked on how his attendance would go on to help enhance his skillsets to improve his capabilities in doing his job and, in large, allow him to contribute to the NATO cause.

“Not delaying the mission means you act as a professional,” Cosma said. “You know your stuff, how to get it done and you’re not affecting the mission. Every mission is important, but howsoever, you’re contributing to the whole purpose of the organization by not delaying it.”