Spangdahlem strengthens bond with 34 nations during Vienna Document visit
Our goal is to make each nation here better because together we are stronger," Sharpy said. "The goal of this visit has been to show our visitors everything it takes to complete the mission and that really involves our Airmen; they are what make the mission possible."
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Thomas, 52nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment training instructor, shares information about the care and readiness of aircrew flight equipment June 27, 2013, during the Vienna Document 11 visit held at Spangdahlem Air Base. The Vienna Document is a politically binding agreement between approximately 57 nations that provides insight to the safety and security capabilities of combat bases.
1 photo: Spangdahlem strengthens bond with 34 nations during Vienna Document visit
Photo 1 of 1: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Thomas, 52nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment training instructor, shares information about the care and readiness of aircrew flight equipment June 27, 2013, during the Vienna Document 11 visit held at Spangdahlem Air Base. The Vienna Document is a politically binding agreement between approximately 57 nations that provides insight to the safety and security capabilities of combat bases. Download full-resolution version

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE -- Spangdahlem Air Base hosted more than 68 delegates from 34 nations for a tour of the base's operations, maintenance and support functions and facilities June 27, 2013.

The delegates visited Spangdahlem as part of the Vienna Document 11 agreement. The agreement is a politically binding measure made to enhance participating nations' confidence in the safety and security of combat bases. Approximately 57 nations are involved in the agreement and each nation must host a Vienna Document visit every five years.

This is the first visit at Spangdahlem. Previous U.S. Air Forces in Europe bases who hosted the visit were Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, and Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Throughout the visit, Airmen gained the delegates confidence by complying with the document in providing a transparent insight into the base's daily operations.

"We are satisfied with this visit," said Col. Murat Dikkar, head of the Turkish army's verifications center. "This is a confidence building measure as it promotes peace and stability for all of us here. I am satisfied because I saw power and readiness...I was impressed with the maintenance, organization and discipline the U.S. Air Force displayed today; it was very noticeable."

Dikkar further said he anticipates going back to his unit in Turkey with good news of cooperation with the United States and other partnering nations.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Tom Sharpy, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa director of plans programs and analysis, shared similar insight as he mentioned the importance of not only providing full disclosure and abiding to the treaty, but building partnerships through trust and cooperation during the event.

Our goal is to make each nation here better because together we are stronger," Sharpy said. "The goal of this visit has been to show our visitors everything it takes to complete the mission and that really involves our Airmen; they are what make the mission possible."

Throughout the tour, delegates had the opportunity to speak to Airmen from various career fields about their duties and experiences in the U.S. Air Force. Along with sharing experiences, the Airmen went over the technical aspects of their jobs and equipment as well as check lists they must follow in order to complete the mission.

Airmen shared with the delegates what they do to keep the base safe and secure through military working dog demonstrations and fire department demonstrations. They also told them how base members are taken care of and supported by touring 52nd Force Support Squadron and 52nd Medical Group facilities.

In addition to viewing how the base's members are supported and protected, the delegates also saw how Spangdahlem supports combat operations, and how the base provides safety and security to partnering nations. Airmen demonstrated the scrupulous tasks of both loading and disposing weapons. They also went over the capabilities of the base's fighter aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and how they maintain, control and pilot the jet.

"To have the chance to speak to Airmen and see the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force is a great opportunity," said Spanish army Capt. Juan Arribas, Spanish army verification unit.
"Speaking to the people here was interesting. I learned a lot."

These briefings and insights gave delegates a better understanding of Spangdahlem's commitment to safety, stability and security in both combat operations and partner nation support missions.

Slovenian army Capt. Rok Ravnak, force protection officer, said that seeing the inner-workings of Spangdahlem and the capabilities of the Airmen who may one day work with his nation gave him a sense of trust and confidence in the U.S. Air Force. He also said he looks forward to working with the U.S. Air Force in future operations.
 

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