The Missouri Air National Guard’s Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center in St. Joseph is not only a destination for Missourians and other Americans being trained, it’s a destination for military personnel from more than a dozen countries.
Colonel Steve Cotter, Commander of the 139th Airlift Wing, says what started out as a small operation about a quarter century ago has now gained a reputation among America’s allies as an important training center for 9-day and 11-day training courses.
Representatives from 14 allied nations are now in the regular rotation of foreign nationals receiving advanced tactical training in academic areas such as low-level dynamics, visual illusions, and aircraft structures. They then take part in flight operations that include hostile environment training, dissimilar defensive maneuvering, and formation flight.
Academic and flight operations begin in St. Joseph, with the class then deploying to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where personnel are exposed to high altitude, desert, and mountainous environments. Approximately 25 foreign nationals take part in this training each year.