By F. H. BlouchJanuary 4, 2019
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) and Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) military officials met recently to honor another milestone in the U.S. and Jordanian training alliance.
Eastern AATS and RJAF aviators have conducted more than 25 years of UH-1 Huey and UH-60 Black Hawk virtual flight training at the Fort Indiantown Gap (FTIG) National Guard Training Center in central Pennsylvania.
RJAF aviators trained here the week of Dec. 17, 2018, and were initially greeted by members of the International Military Student Office (IMSO). During their stay, the Eastern AATS commander, Col. Todd J. Tuttle, met with Jordan's aviators and led a tour through the EAATS headquarters and UH-60 flight simulation center where Pennsylvania Guard members were training numerous U.S. and international students.
In attendance was the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's first female rotary-wing aviator, Cadet Aya Basheer Ibrahim Alsourany. As part of the Eastern AATS' support to DOD security assistance and Department of State international partnership efforts, Tuttle presented a commander's coin to Cadet Alsourany in recognition of her unique accomplishments and first aviation training visit to Pennsylvania.
"It is an honor to continue to foster the historic partnerships with our allied nations," Tuttle said. "The EAATS proudly continues the tradition of training for excellence."
Cadet Alsourany began her military career as an enlistee in the RJAF completing Jordan's Basic Combat Training in October 2016. During her first visit to the United States, Cadet Alsourany completed the U.S. Army Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. She graduated in 2018 with military ratings in the OH-58 Kiowa and UH-60 Black Hawk. Cadet Alsourany is also a graduate of the RJAF Advanced Tactical Training course in Jordan's advanced UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.
Cadet Alsourany holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Systems Engineering and is eligible for promotion to 2nd lieutenant after 27 months time-in-grade. When asked about what military service has meant to her so far in her career she said, "I have gained much respect and honor for my country and the alliances we have with the U.S. and other international partners."
As part of her recognition, Tuttle, who has built a solid relationship with Jordanian and numerous aviation leaders, guided the delegation to the site of a commemorative tree planted by Jordanian and Pennsylvania leaders in 1999. His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in honor of his official visit to the PAARNG and Eastern AATS, planted a sweet gum tree along the path used daily by flight crew members on their trek to the Muir Army Airfield flight line. Assisting King Abdullah II on that day in 1999 was the adjutant general of Pennsylvania, Maj. Gen. William B. Lynch, and the EAATS Commander, Col. James G. Pierce.