by Lt. Col. Laurie A. Arellano
USAF Expeditionary Center Public Affairs
7/15/2015 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The
U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center officially assumed the
responsibility of being the Air Force's sole provider of training for
general purpose force Air Advisors as the program was inactivated July
10 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. This continues the transition of
the Air Advisor Academy's courses, formerly under Air Education and
Training Command, into the USAF EC's USAF Expeditionary Operations
The first class to graduate under the USAF EOS program began in early
June as the last classes at the Academy continued to wrap up.
"Air Force leadership determined that Air Advisor skills are extremely
necessary for the success of the security cooperation and building
partnerships missions," said Mr. Ken Arteaga, USAF EOS deputy director.
"It is important to continue the training even as we adjust to a
changing budget environment."
The Air Advisor Academy trained Airmen to safely operate in unfamiliar
places as they build cross-cultural relationships and support the
Department of Defense's role in building partner nation capacities.
Col. Steven Cabosky, Air Advisor Academy commandant, says advising is a
unique and specialized skill set, and one of the most dangerous duties
our Airmen perform.
"The Air Force does a great job in the technical training arena," said
Cabosky. "Our students come to us as subject matter experts in their
career fields. The Air Advisor Academy then educates Airmen in
fundamental advising skills and gives them the cross-cultural
communication skills to work with foreign militaries. They also get the
force protection skills they need to survive in hostile and uncertain
environments. We train these warrior/diplomats to be safe and effective
in their Advisor roles," Cabosky said.
Scott Gericke, Air Advisor Academy dean of faculty, said the Academy
focused on those traits that enable the advisor to build relationships
and enable partner nation forces to effectively support security
cooperation agreements. Those enabling traits include building trust,
cross-cultural competency and confidence when operating in uncertain
The Academy also taught the core knowledge and unique skill sets needed
by an Air Advisor such as: being able to assess, train, advise, and
assist host nation military forces, to speak common phrases in their
native language, to know mission specific information, and the strategic
guidance for a particular AOR.
"A properly trained advisor is a force multiplier," said Gericke.
"Experience has shown someone can be a good officer and a good
technician, but a poor advisor. Not everyone is cut out to be an
Arteaga said moving the program under the USAF EC consolidates Air
Advisor expertise, provides continuity of training, and more closely
links the program to the continuous improvement of Air Advisor Tactics,
Techniques and Procedures maintained at the USAF EC.
"What this does is provide a more efficient program and synergizes all
of the lines of the effort," said Arteaga. "It's the students and the
COCOM commanders who win."
The biggest difference for students will be the efficiency of fieldcraft
portions of the training. Air Advisor students will merge with
students from the USAF EC's other expeditionary skills training courses
to maximize the use of staff and ranges as well as increase the types of
skill training offered.
The most visible face of this training has been the Air Advisor presence
in Afghanistan. The Advisors to the Afghan Army and Air Force continue
to be in high demand. Air Advisors also continue to provide enduring
support for diplomatic requirements across the globe in every combatant
As the USAF EC focuses on continuing to train advisors supporting
standing force requirements, it is also prepared to adapt to emerging
contingency requirements quickly and effectively. The USAF EC has
developed a modular approach to the training that increases the
flexibility of the training offered depending on COCOM requirements,
characterized as a 'plug and play' approach to programming the courses.
"We're very happy to be selected as the focal point to support this enduring global requirement," said Arteaga.