Pakistani Weather Officer Liaison Visits 9th OWS

  • Published
  • By Maj. David Runge
  • 9th Operational Weather Squadron
The 9th Operational Weather Squadron had a rare opportunity to further international relations when Maj. Muhammad Rehan Ashraf, a member of the Pakistani Air Force visited the squadron in October. Members of the Squadron were more than pleased to host Major Ashraf, a meteorological officer stationed at the Army Aviation School in Gujranwala, Pakistan.
After his weather squadron commander selection, Major Ashraf was sent to the Weather Officer Course at Keesler AFB, Miss., for some advanced technical training. En route back to Pakistan, he stopped at the 9th OWS to receive familiarization training on OWS and Weather Flight operations. During the visit, he was given a tour of the 9th and 28th OWSs, additional technical training on TAF and warning production, as well as familiarization training on various weather systems. He was also provided many rules-of-thumb applicable for his area of operations. To give him a perspective of the WF's mission to tailor forecasts to operations, Capt. Brian Belson, 20th OSS/OSW commander, hosted a tour of Shaw's CWF facilities. Major Ashraf was thankful for the familiarization training and gleaned helpful information from his visit.
It was also a culturally enriching visit since Major Ashraf's visit coincided with Ramadan - this also posed some unique challenges. He fasted during daylight hours, so he had to eat breakfast before dawn and wait until after sunset before sitting down to dinner. During the visit, squadron members also took Major Ashraf to a Mosque in downtown Columbia, S.C., for Friday prayers. He greatly appreciated all the effort to meet his Muslim requirement to attend Friday prayers if at all possible during Ramadan. Having never been to America before, this additional time in America afforded Major Ashraf a glimpse of what life is like here. He was pleasantly surprised at the warm receptions everyone gave him during his visit.