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 Dec 17 2020

NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force Certifies First Own Maintenance Technicians

SIGONELLA, Italy – In a ceremony at its main operating base, the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF) Commander, U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Houston Cantwell certified eleven fully-trained aircraft maintenance technicians at Sigonella. This initial cohort of licensed experts will be able to conduct aircraft maintenance activities and sign off tasks on the unit’s five RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft without industry partner oversight.

“These licenses are the result of a long and rigorous training programme, including training courses focused on RQ-4D systems, ground safety, human factors in aircraft maintenance, and Italian aviation legislation,” said Italian Air Force Colonel Stefano Bianca, NAGSF Deputy Commander and Commander of the NAGSF Training Centre. 

They demonstrate the commitment of NAGSF members contributing to the Aliance's mission of providing collective security

In addition to these courses, the technicians completed three months of focused on-the-job  training  that  validated  they  possessed

the necessary competencies to be a licensed aircraft maintenance technician. “The men and women demonstrate the commitment of the NAGSF members to work together contributing to the Alliance’s mission of providing collective security; they are a small example of how the force is increasing its capability every day in order to provide indications and warnings to NATO,” Colonel Bianca added. 

“Certifying NATO AGS Force as a Maintenance Training Organization last August was a testament to the tremendous enduring efforts of our NAGSF team, and in particular of our Training Centre,” said Colonel Bianca. “Obtaining this certification set the foundation for our in-house maintenance training, as our Force in Sigonella continues to hone its operational capabilities,” Colonel Bianca concluded. 

Story by NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force Public Affairs Office

"These licenses are the result of a long and rigorous training programme," said Col Stefano Bianca, NAGSF DCOM and Commander of the NAGSF Training Centre (right) during the ceremony. Photo by Dion Houston.
The NAGSF RQ-4D tow team working on one of the five remotely piloted aircaft at Sigonella. Photo by Sebastian Klix.
A Spanish Air Force technician works on the engine of a NAGSF RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft. Photo by Falk Plankenhorn.

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