Royal Thai Air Force pilots trained for modern warfare... in Lincoln
Flight sergeants and wing commanders from the Royal Thai Air Force have been trained in the latest electronic warfare techniques in a Lincoln classroom.
For the last four months, the six officers have been using state of the art simulation software in the purpose-built suite in Alumina Court, off Tritton Road.
They are the first students to complete the course since the centre opened in October, using high-tech radar and communication systems.
The officers of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) celebrated the successful completion of their training, which also included two months in Bangkok, at a graduation ceremony at the Washingborough Hall Hotel. It was attended by high ranking RTAF official, air vice-marshal Sopon Suppanukor, and Ashley Lane, managing director of the company behind the training course and Lincoln facility, MASS.
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Mr Lane said: "We congratulate these students on their graduation, which is the fruit of their hard work and which demonstrates the high quality of MASS's expert trainers, instruction and facilities.
"We wish these graduates the best of luck in their future careers and we look forward to continuing our training work with the Royal Thai Air Force."
Work on the Lincoln training centre began in June, adjacent to the company's existing Lincoln offices. It replaced MASS's previous training centre, based at Wellingore Hall.
The new centre boasts four advanced training rooms, which are equipped with interactive training smart boards, touch screens and the latest military computer software.
And to accommodate students from all over the world with different cultures, MASS also provides a prayer room and Halal food for those with special dietary requirements.
Malcolm Lowes, business development director at MASS, said the courses were intended to train students how to best use their equipment defend themselves and their comrades in air, land and naval battle situations.
He said: "The analogy we use is to imagine you're hiding down a dark tunnel and the enemy is looking for you with a torch.
"And all you have to defend yourself and to throw him off with is another torch by shining it at him.
"If you use it too early, you're going to alert him to where you are, but if you use it at the right time, you can blind your enemy and send them off in another direction.
"That's what we teach our students – how to use the right equipment at the right time to defend themselves in any situation.
"You can have all the hi-tech equipment but it's useless if you don't know how and why you're using it.
"We always say that just because you have Microsoft Word doesn't mean that you can write a novel."
Mr Lane added: "We have delivered more than 40,000 days of high quality electronic warfare training in recent years to armed forces personnel worldwide, from one-day courses to one year courses, including masters-degree qualifications and on-the-job training, too.
"This facility and desirable location enables us to continue to provide a service that will help armed forces to develop their own electronic warfare capacity."
MASS also sold off unwanted furniture and training equipment to raise £520 for children's charity Strut in the Community.