11/12/2015 - SOFIA, Bulgaria -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe started its first ever Inter-European Air Forces Academy course Nov. 2, 2015.
IEAFA's mission is to provide education and training to Air Force personnel from NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
"IEAFA supports improved NATO coalition aviation operations through
increased professional development of both combat and support forces,"
said Lt. Col. Chris Erickson, IEAFA Commandant. "The increased
interaction at the junior officer and senior NCO level will dramatically
increase and strengthen personal bonds of NATO airmen over time and
this will promote improved relations at all levels of Allied Air
Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, Maj. Gen. Rumen Radev, welcomed
the first class of 23 students from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia
Senior leaders involved in the IEAFA program believe that, increasing
our combined training through IEAFA will build future capabilities by
developing the most important asset - people.
"By training officers and non-commissioned officers from different
nations in parallel, the new IEAFA program seeks to build trust between
the ranks and among different nationalities," said Defense Attaché,
Colonel James Crowhurst. He thanked the Inter-European Air Forces
Academy leadership for hosting the course and their emphasis on
developing officers and NCOs in their leadership roles.
Erickson also stressed the importance of professional military education
for the development of both officer and non-commissioned officers and
how this five NATO nation training event provides a valuable opportunity
for the US instructors to learn from Allied air force personnel.
IEAFA will offer the full Squadron Officer School and NCOA courses
starting in 2016 at its permanent classrooms near Ramstein AB in