An Italian takes command of the 89th flying training squadron at Sheppard – Texas (USA)

(To air Force)

Friday 03 May 2024, at the Sheppard US Air Force base in Texas (USA), home of the international program Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), the handover ceremony of '89 took placeth flying training squadron (FTS) between Lieutenant Colonel Aristide Ciro Carotenuto (incoming) and German Air Force (GAF) Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Pahlke.

The 89th FTS depends on the 80th operation group and is organically inserted within the 80th flying training wing, the USAF wing in which the ENJJPT program operates, a multinational reality made up of 14 nations belonging to NATO.

At the ceremony, presided over by the commander of the 80th OG, col. Jan Gloystein (GAF), participated in the leadership of the 80th flying training wing, together with the RAMi commander, lieutenant colonel Andrea Cerri and numerous guests and family members. In his introductory speech, Col. Gloystein, in underlining the synergy and cooperation that has always characterized the relationship between the nations belonging to the program, wanted to highlight the role of the Atlantic Alliance, particularly in this historical moment, in guaranteeing and ensuring security and defense for its members of democracy, highlighting its importance for Europe and for the West in general.

The aforementioned change of command represented a particularly important moment for the Sheppard Branches and for the Air Force as an AM officer has not held such an important and rewarding role since 2019. In fact, the command of a flight group in the context of the ENJJPT team and within a USAF wing constitutes a coveted goal and a prestigious recognition of the professionalism and skills of the Italian instructor staff employed at Sheppard.

For Lieutenant Colonel Ciro Aristide Carotenuto it was a particularly emotional moment, both from a professional and personal point of view, and in the speech he gave, in thanking the superior authorities and the ENJJPT for the trust placed in him in assigning him command, he confirmed that he wanted continue in the footsteps of its predecessor, guaranteeing its commitment to ensuring the achievement of the program's objectives of excellence in the training of young pilots.

RAMi depends on the schools command of the AM / 3rd air region of Bari. Established in 1983, its mission is to represent the Air Force within the ENJJPT (Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training) program by contributing to training of young pilots from all the nations participating in the program and of Italian officers who, after completing the Air Force Academy, continue their flight training process in a particularly competitive international environment.