NEWS | Aug. 4, 2020

Task Force Spartan Aviators Meet with Kuwait Air Force

By Story by Sgt. Trevor Cullen Task Force Spartan

Task Force Spartan Aviator’s recently visited with representatives of the Kuwait Air Force to discuss procedures, best practices, and partnerships between the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and Kuwait Air Force.

“Today was a follow-up meeting which was created after our initial meeting for a quarterly review of aviation procedures,” said Paul Bailie, the Task Force Spartan Aviation Chief.

Task Force Spartan’s Aviation Section put together a draft copy of the APG, and they are looking for additional partner input.

“The APG, or aircraft procedures guide, is our standard operating procedure,” said Bailie. “The current edition is from 2016; we have updated it for 2020. With the new air SOP, we are looking for input from Kuwait.”

The air SOPs affect not only U.S. Army Aviation operations, but also U.S. Air Force operations.

“There is no Kuwait signature on the APG now,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Horner, who was present at the meeting. “This affects us both, so we would love their [Kuwait’s] review.”

Receiving input from Kuwait can allow for a better working relationship between the host nation and U.S. Forces.

“Having these meetings build on relationships we have,” said Bailie. “They [Kuwait] control the air space.”

Airspace can be the life-blood of operations. Especially when that air space includes the air space U.S. Forces use over military and civilian sites throughout the country.

“When our original flight routes were designed, over five years, the area was different,” said Bailie. “There are now buildings that weren’t there before, and we want to fly neighborly.”

Another reason for the visit was to maintain relationships that have existed for many years and overcome hurdles.

“A hurdle is the rotation cycle,” said Bailie. “You deploy for nine months, and then the next guys come in.”

This constant exchanging of units can make it hard to maintain consistency. This meeting did offer possible solutions, like recommendations for conducting orientation flights to help with medical evacuation flights to Kuwaiti hospitals.

“Part of orientation flights is to make sure pilots know the area and the hazards,” said Bailie.

“Some new buildings there have renovations, but to take the pilots there, it would be a good mission of orientation,” said Col. M.J. Alhamdan.
Additional training will allow for safer flying, but that has not been the only safety measure taken.

“We established a hotline for the Kuwait Air Force and the Udairi Radio Tower,” said Bailie. “If any conflicts arrive, they can reach out to alert the pilots of a potential crash.”

The hotline is not only used to prevent crashes but also to enhance communication.

“Aircraft used to have to wait at the border for over thirty minutes,” said Bailie. “We got the hotline and now there is no delay, we just call and notify them.”

Meetings like this help Task Force Spartan to strengthen it’s defense relationships and continue to build partner capacity. This meeting is just one of many to come to continue to enhance a long-standing partnership that exists between the U.S. Army and the Kuwait Air Force.