Texas Air Guard Trains With Czechs

Airmen of the Texas Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing in San Antonio deployed to the Czech Republic last month for two weeks of training under the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. The wing’s F-16s flew against Czech JAS 39 Grippen fighters in this first pairing of the two forces. Lt. Col. John Kane, 149th FW vice commander, said, “It was excellent training for both sides.” Pilots worked through air-to-air sorties and, in the second week, close air support maneuvers, for which the Texas unit enlisted some active duty USAF joint terminal attack controllers to work with Czech forward air controllers. Kane acknowledged that the deployment provided an “appreciation of some language difficulties.” Capt. Janice Cavinder, a USAF controller on the trip, said, “Sometimes we spoke and understood each other, sometimes we reverted to just using hand signals.” (Texas Guard report by Capt. Randy Saldivar)