Laughlin AFB allies training and working together

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David Phaff
  • 47th Flying Training Wing public affairs

Many United States pilots have walked the halls of Laughlin Air Force Base and undergone the trials and tribulations of undergraduate pilot training. The training is one of the most demanding of all the careers in any military. That is why many of our allied countries send their own here to learn and train with our very own instructors.

One of those international students is 2nd Lt. Rosaria who is currently a student pilot in the 47th Student Squadron. She is currently serving in the Italian Air Force.

While most members of the Italian Air Force are trained at the 61st Wing in Galatina Italy a select few are sent overseas to train at Laughlin to not only learn about the wonders of aviation but to build a stronger bond between allied nations and share and explore each other's culture.
Rosaria was not born with the dream to fly but instead, curiosity pushed her to pursue this career.

“I grew up next to an airport and I would look out to the skyline and see aircraft flying over my house,” 2nd Lt. Rosaria 47th Flying Training Wing student pilot. “I’d always wonder, what were they doing there? What would I have to do to become a pilot?”

It wasn't long before she started looking at a career in the military. She began by attending military school in her younger years. Here she found a fondness for the military lifestyle. This only added to her drive to join the military.

“I enjoyed military life and the Air Force life so I applied for the academy and knew I wanted to be a pilot,” said Rosaria.
Going off to a new environment to train can bring hardships but not many go off to training in different countries that can present many challenges in itself.

“The first couple of weeks were hard having to learn and study in a new language and make friends,” said Rosaria. Everyone was very patient and welcoming, the class as a whole worked together and was very cooperative, letting everyone be a part of the group.
Even though she is training in a new country, she still feels as if she is in a familiar place.

“The training and culture are very similar to our Air Force”, Rosaria said. “Everyone has been welcoming and has included all the international students, we have a lot of opportunities to hang out with our class either helping one another or even just spending time together.”
During her time here Rosaria discovered the most treasured part of flying for her.

“I enjoy flying alongside someone and having that trust and responsibility for one another. It’s great to have another wingman to rely on and do the same for them,” said Rosaria. “You're trying to be the best pilot for them and not just yourself.”

As 2nd Lt. Rosaria finishes her training and prepares herself to journey back to Italy to share what she has learned; She leaves all future international students with a little wisdom…

“Try your best to be part of the group because it's a game-changer here at Laughlin, talk with students from other countries and with everyone from your class,” said Rosaria. “It is a unique occasion that will never happen again and a great chance of adventure and growth.”