AATTC's 30th Tactics/Intel Symposium a success
By By Maj. Brian Bowman, 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published January 26, 2012
ST. JOSEPH, Mo -- More than 300 military members, civilians and vendors attended the 30th Tactics-Intelligence Symposium, hosted here Jan. 23-26 by the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center (AATTC) with assistance from the 139th Airlift Wing.
The Symposium annually brings together airlift and intelligence personnel from across the Air Force and other allied nations to discuss, in unclassified and classified briefings, items of current and future interest.
This year's theme is "Eyes to the Future," a play on the "Five Eyes" of the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain, close allies who share information at a higher classification level.
This year, eight personnel representing Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Belgium attended.
"We have a diverse group of tacticians from the United States and our ... allies," said AATTC commander Col. Vince Teuber. "The diverse group possesses a wide range of combat experience from a number of contingencies.
Teuber said the symposium provided "outstanding information covering relevant tactical and intelligence issues."
One distinguished visitor, Missouri Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, expressed admiration from his "green" perspective to the "blue" warriors in the room.
"When you fine airlifters are delivering supplies down to that last tactical mile," he said, "you are much appreciated by soldiers on the ground."
Danner expressed his pride in the AATTC and the Missouri Air National Guard.
"The (AATTC) truly has a worldwide reach and this symposium is evidence to the fact," he said. "The 139th (AW) was pivotal for us in fighting those record floods (in 2011) ... they led the task force in northwest Missouri, including leading Army Guard troops."
The AATTC has trained aircrews from 15 different allied countries since its inception in the early 1980s.
The symposium's first day was dominated by contracted vendors from the private sector and their specialty products and programs geared for the airlift/intel world. Much of the balance of the symposium was dedicated to an array of classified and unclassified briefings. There was also a banquet featuring legendary airlifter Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Patterson. Patterson is a member of the Airlift/Tanker Association Hall of Fame.
One presentation came from Lt. Col. Laurent Donnet of Belgium's air force. Donnet, a member of a small European task force specializing in developing military partnerships, discussed how the European allies are looking to developing what he called, "a European AATTC."
Donnet explained how the AATTC inspired the Europeans' thinking.
"The (European) aircrews that came here got exactly what they needed," Donnet said. "So the idea came about that we should develop a European AATTC."
Donnet said the drivers behind the idea to develop a European school was driven by the distance, how long aircrews were lost for stateside training and not enough AATTC slots for all those interested in taking the course.
However, Donnet said the St. Joseph-based school house has expressed a willingness to help their allies develop another school.
"It would be a pity not to take advantage of three decades of experience here," Donnet said.