Building relationships: Royal Australian Air Force leader visits 343rd Training Squadron

  • Published
  • By C Arce
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – A squadron leader from the Royal Australian Air Force visited the 343rd Training Squadron here to kick off their relationship building July 11-15. Like the U.S. Security Forces Academy, the Australian Security and Fire Academy is currently going through a transformation of their curriculum. 

Squadron Leader Sean “Flash” Gordon, staff officer training development at the Security and Fire School RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, arrived one week prior to the Integrated Command and Control Course, also known as IDC III.  

Lt. Col. Brian Mack, 343rd TRS commander, explained the course is designed to educate and train master sergeants., senior master sergeants., captains and majors on advanced security forces leadership, skills and abilities to employ the concepts, principles, and methodologies of contingency and execution planning. The course is brand new and has just been brought online, which replaced the old security forces advanced course.

The training includes: 

  • Military decision-making process. 
  • Critical thinking/mission analysis. 
  • Joint environments. 
  • Joint security operations. 
  • Course of action development. 
  • ​​Transition to war. 


Gordon shadowed and interacted with personnel and students across the 343rd TRS. He learned about the changes made to the Security Forces Academy curriculum, as well as possible challenges the group could face.  

“The opportunity to spend a week in the schoolhouse prior to IDC III and meet with key personnel provided an insight into operations across a number of teams,” Gordon said. “An example of where the RAAF Security and Fire Academy can leverage the 343rd TRS’s work is the instructor training process. We initiated a similar method of on-boarding instructional staff this year, and the 343rd TRS has a well-established and robust program. I will be taking this methodology back for discussion on what aspects can be duplicated at our schoolhouse.”  

According to Mack, this visit came at an opportune time. 

“It's a perfect time to enhance our relationship because we just finished a major overhaul of our courses to develop defenders ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Mack said. “The Australian academy is currently going through a transformation of their curriculum to change up what and how they do training. Sharing of our knowledge, skills and personnel may assist us as we both improve our business and courses.”  

On the same wavelength, Gordon also expressed the importance of building this partnership. 

“Interoperability is a key tenet that underpins our ability to generate effects in the operating environment, regardless of where an operation sits on the spectrum of conflict,” he said. “Understanding your joint and coalition partners’ capabilities is critical to effective integration and mission success. The U.S. and Australian Air Forces’ Security Forces elements share similar mission sets and capabilities, and as I have discovered on this visit, similar friction points and challenges. If we continue to develop the relationship and understand the concepts and focus of training in the schools, it should follow that we can exploit the synergies on operations.” 

The 343rd TRS plans to continue working with the RAAF to help each other improve their courses through staff attendance on courses, staff visits to understand learning reviews, and sharing ideas and innovative solutions that enhance training.