Air advisors continue to build partnerships in the INDO-PACIFIC

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Divine Cox
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

The 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron is comprised of only 19 Airmen and is smallest of all the air advising flights.

The role of an Air Advisor is to plan, execute, and evaluate operations that increase partner nation and coalition air power capabilities. These actions are undertaken in support of the air component support plan and Combatant Commander campaign plan requirements, and to inform Department of Defense decision making options.

“Air Advising is the operational arm of Air Force Security Cooperation,” said Capt. Daniel Dale, air advising flight commander assigned to the 36 CRSS. “Our mission is to assess, train, advise, assist/accompany, and equip to support partner nations in the development, sustainment, employment, and integration of aviation assets with organic surface forces, and forces of coalition partners when necessary.”

Airmen in any Air Force Specialty Code can apply to become an air advisor. Air advisors work with partner nations to develop their aviation enterprises using the skills they already have as an Airman.

“Fundamentally, the 36 CRSS operates with the same mission set as the other air advisor units throughout the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Lynn Stephan, air advising flight chief assigned to the 36 CRSS. “However, our size and scope makes us unique; our sister squadron, 435 CRSS at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is roughly twice the size of the 36 CRSS. Other Air Advising units, about three times larger: 571st and 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadrons at Travis Air Force Base, California and JBMDL, respectively, and the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB, Georgia. This is impressive and a testament to the expertise of the professionals we have within the 36 CRSS when you factor in that our unit is working in the largest and most diverse AOR and at nearly the same mission workload as those mentioned.”

Dale stated that part of the 36th Wing’s mission is to strengthen and cultivate regional and local partnerships from the Forward Edge of the Indo-Pacific and our air advisors do just that.

“The 36 CRSS air advisors are uniquely tasked with building partnerships and capacity throughout the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility,” said Ellis. “As Pacific Air Force’s sole air advising force, the 36 CRSS ensures access, basing and overflight for the Pacific Air Forces’ Commander to compete against our adversaries and assure our partners and allies.”

To become an air advisor, Airmen attend the four-week initial qualification course at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The curriculum is a combination of security cooperation and security forces assistance academics and field training. Additional training includes an instructor certification, evasion and conduct after capture, and courses through the Defense Security Cooperation University.