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NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA, Va. -- From October to December 2021, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Oceana staff have been critical players in increasing the Kuwaiti Air Force’s operational readiness with F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.
Since 1993, Kuwaiti students traditionally have attended courses at San Antonio, Texas, and Lemoore, California, learning sites. However, since the Kuwaiti Air Force has recently upgraded their fleet from the legacy F/A-18 Hornet to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, CNATTU Oceana was added as a vital learning site to support Kuwaiti Air Force’s technical readiness in their new training requirements.
This need for training led the Kuwaiti Air Force to select of their most senior and established aviation maintainers who hold roles equivalent to that of an aviation electronics technician, aviation electrician’s mate, aviation ordnanceman, and aviation structural mechanics-safety equipment to receive aviation organizational training at CNATTU Oceana. Their diverse rating expertise, paired with their newly gained knowledge of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, will enable them to function as mentors and subject-matter experts to the more junior service members currently receiving initial rate training in Pensacola, Florida. The Kuwaiti students expressed that CNATTU Oceana is ‘opening the door’ for future training and bridging the knowledge gap between both aircraft. CNATTU Oceana is currently scheduled to train 11 more Kuwaiti students over a five-month period.
Aviation Electrician’s Mate First Class Andrew Taylor was the assigned CNATTU Oceana instructor for the class. While discussing the dynamics of teaching a class to foreign nationals and senior leadership, he expressed that one of his primary goals was to ensure the training provided built upon their already vast knowledge foundation. To achieve this, he focused on the intent of the course while also ensuring he met the required curriculum objectives. In this identification of intent, he was able to ensure that previous knowledge did not interfere with obtaining an in-depth understanding of the upgraded fighter jets.
“As an instructor, we do not always immediately know the obstacles we may encounter as an instructor, Taylor said. “I was fortunate to have the time to prepare and also understand what barriers I may have to instruction so that I can overcome them.”
Taylor’s approach to instruction drew praise from the Kuwaiti students.
“We were all a part of the 1995 to 1996 Operation Alignment, which involved the procurement of the Legacy F/A-18,” Kuwaiti Air Force’s Wakil’awal Meshal Hadi, said. “In total, we have over 100 years of fighter jet experience, and AE1 [Taylor] was not only a patient instructor, but was able to explain the individual upgrades and changes.”