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Saudi Air Academy leadership team visits CAFB
Colonel David Reth, 14th Operations Group commander, speaks with Col. Sulaiman Abdulrahman Alwabel, Flying Wing commander at King Faisal Air Academy, Saudi Arabia, at a static display of a T-6 Texan during a tour of Columbus AFB Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Elizabeth Owens)
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Saudi Air Academy leadership team visits CAFB

Posted 12/3/2008   Updated 12/3/2008 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Marc Miedziak
14th Operations Group

12/3/2008 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Columbus AFB hosted Maj. Gen. Al-Sedais, Commandant of Saudi Arabia's King Faizul Air Academy, along with five members of his senior staff as they began their tour of U.S. training facilities Tuesday. 

The goal of the visit was to garner a better understanding of how an Air Force pilot is grown, from entering college to pinning on their silver wings. 

Unlike United States Air Force Academy cadets, students at the KFAA have pilot training included within their studies. When these cadets graduate as officers, they are also fully-rated pilots. 

In order to expand their cadets' understanding of their allies, Saudi Arabia has begun to send some students to the U.S. for pilot training. These students will begin their training at Lackland AFB's Defense Language Institute where they will study English for four months and then spend another two months learning aviation specific terms. This training is vital to ensuring Columbus AFB instructors are able to communicate with their students during flights in pilot training. 

Consider the challenge of understanding instructions in another language while traveling 300 mph when you only have seconds to react! DLI's intense immersion into English resolves this problem in only six months. 

When the students arrive at Columbus AFB for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot training, they are treated the same as their American counterparts, providing them with an understanding of Air Force culture. During this one year SUPT experience at Columbus, the students will spend countless hours with their classmates working to succeed in a difficult program. The experience will provide a better international perspective for all of the students involved in the class. With our global reach, it is almost certain the students will be reunited in another location while our respective countries work together to resolve international issues.

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