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Malaysian airmen visit JBLM

Royal Malaysia Air Force trains on radar operations at WADS

The Western Air Defense Sector hosts 12 members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force as part of a subject matter exchange entailing hands-on training at a radar site at Camp Rilea, Oregon, Aug. 27, 2021. Photo credit: Maj. Kimberly Burke

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The Western Air Defense Sector hosted a Radar Operations Orientation Course for 12 members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's 2nd Air Division, 330th Squadron, Aug. 2-27.

WADS helped U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces plan and execute the training under the National Guard's State Partnership Program. The Washington National Guard and Malaysia have partnered under the program since 2017, sharing best practices and expertise.

The SPP is a Department of Defense program administered by the National Guard Bureau. It links a state's National Guard with the armed forces of a partner country to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with U.S. allies worldwide.

"The RMAF Radar Orientation Course is the first major training event supporting the PACAF-sponsored FY21 National Defense Authorization Act Section 333 program providing the RMAF with a Long Range Air Domain Awareness Radar through" U.S. funding assistance, said U.S. Navy Commander David Hurn, the WADS' SPP coordinator and Navy liaison officer.

The program's total value is approximately $42 million and includes funding for training on radar fundamentals.

"This course is designed to teach the RMAF those fundamentals and prepare them to receive the radar in mid-to-late" fiscal 2023, Hurn said.

The course was taught by technical experts from the Air Force active-duty and Air National Guard components representing 334th Training Readiness Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; 611th Air Support Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon ANG; and WADS.

During the first three weeks, military technical instructors from the 334th TRS taught electronic principles and radar fundamentals in class. The 334th TRS is the USAF schoolhouse where U.S. Airmen are taught radar maintenance.

"The 334th TRS was integral to the success of teaching this course because they have the expertise and courseware of this very specific type of training," Hurn said.

During the final week, the 116th ACS taught radar maintenance training on the TPS-75 radar at Camp Rilea, Oregon. While the 611th ASUS operates a similar U.S. version of the TPS-77 radar and they were able to instruct members of the RMAF on TPS-77 and TPS-78 maintenance specifics.

On weekends, members of the WADS team showed RMAF members Mount Rainier National Park, the Boeing Museum of Flight and other local sights. Senior WADS leaders also hosted traditional American barbeques at their homes.

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