In accordance with the Technical Arrangement signed in October 2021 between the Italian Air Force and the Japan Air Self - Defense Force, on Tuesday 11 January 2022 they arrived at the "F. Cesari" military airport in Galatina, home of the 61st wing, two Japanese student pilots, accompanied by senior national representative, to attend advanced training courses (Phase IV) within the framework ofInternational Flight Training School (IFTS).
The young Japanese drivers, after a first phase of in-processing at the 61st flock, they will be sent to the Aviation Training Center English of Loreto for the attendance of an English course lasting about two months, to then begin the "Lead-In to Fighter Training Course", Phase IV training, preparatory to the start of the flight crew on very high performance military aircraft.
The arrival of Japanese students is part of the operational start-up process of theInternational Flight Training School (IFTS), a project born from the strategic collaboration between the Italian Air Force and the Leonardo Company for the creation of an international center of excellence in the field of advanced flight training for military pilots.
Since yesterday, therefore, at the entrance to the Galatina "F. Cesari" military airport, the flag of Japan has been added alongside those of Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Qatar, Singapore and the United States, all countries that currently they have student pilots and / or flight instructors at the Galatina school, a unique training reality in the world panorama.
The IFTS initiative has, in a nutshell, put two national excellences in common, one public and one private: on the one hand there are the capabilities of the Arma Azzurra in the flight training sector, especially those consolidated at the Galatina school with over 75 years of experience in training Italian and foreign pilots; on the other hand, the resources of the main Italian industrial reality in the field of security and defense. A highly strategic program that aims to meet the growing demand of the Air Force and partner countries for the training of their pilots.
The project will make it possible to double the current training offer through the creation of a new training center distributed between the Galatina base and the Decimomannu base in Sardinia, where the new IFTS campus is under construction.