An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | March 9, 2015

South African general visits the New York Air National Guard

By Eric Durr, New York National Guard

STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Newburgh, N.Y. - One of the South African Air Force’s top commanders got a close up look at how two of the New York Air National Guard’s five wings do business during a four-day visit, March 1-4.

Maj. Gen. Wiseman Mbambo, chief of air staff operations for the South African National Defence Force, visited the 105th Airlift Wing here and the 106th Rescue Wing, based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base at Westhampton Beach on Long Island.

Mbambo’s goal was to look at the operations of each wing and determine whether or not there was an opportunity for exchange visits between counterparts, said Major John Sandefur, the New York National Guard’s State Partnership Program coordinator.

The New York National Guard has had a State Partnership Program relationship with the Republic of South Africa’s military since 2004.

The New York Army and Air National Guard have participated in South African air shows, shooting competitions, and provided instructors for South African training programs. In 2012, the chief of the South African reserve forces visited New York National Guard headquarters.

Mbambo was accompanied on his visit by Brig. Gen. Mashoro Phala, South Africa’s senior defense attaché to the United States and Canada.

During his visit to Stewart Air National Guard Base, where 105th Airlift Wing aircrews fly C-17s on logistics missions that span the globe, Mbomba got to try his hand at flying the state-of-the-art simulator that pilots train on.

The general also explored the cockpit of one of the wing’s C-17s and visited a facility where 105th Airlift Wing mechanics rebuild the insides of massive C-5M transports. The 105th is charged by the Air Force with refurbishing the interior of C-5s being brought up to the latest C-5M standard.

At the 105th,Mbomba spoke with maintenance and logistics leaders to explore joint training opportunities, Sandefur said.

At the 106th Rescue Wing, Mbomba examined the HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters the wing flies. He also checked out the HC-130 search and rescue aircraft the wing operates.

The HC-130 version of the C-130 can refuel HH-60s in flight and are also used to drop para-rescue jumpers and their equipment on land or into the sea from high and low altitudes.

The para-rescue jumpers also showed the general the weapons and other equipment they use in conducting their mission, Sandefur said.

When he spoke with Col. Tom Owens, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing, Mbomba expressed an interest in trying to organize joint training opportunities between the 106th Rescue Wing’s para-rescue jumpers and South African special forces Soldiers and Airmen, Sandefur said.

He was especially interested in the medical training the para-rescue jumpers receive, Sandefur said.

106th Rescue Wing Airmen have rotated repeatedly into and out of Afghanistan over the last few years. Six members of the wing were awarded a Bronze Star for Valor for their role in a Dec. 2012 rescue mission under fire.

The New York Air National Guard is the largest in the country, with about 5,500 members.

The 109 Airlift Wing flies ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft to support science missions in the Antarctic and Arctic while the 174th Attack Wing operated MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft in missions in the Central Command area while also conducting instruction for MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators and mechanics.

The 107th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is in the process of transitioning to an MQ-9 operating unit. New York Air National Guard members also man the Eastern Air Defense Sector, a North American Aerospace Defense Command component responsible for U.S. airspace east of the Mississippi.

 

 

Related Articles
Members of Higher Headquarters Company 117th Military Police Brigade, Michigan National Guard, deplane at the unit’s welcome home ceremony from a deployment to support Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay in the Southern Command Area of Responsibility, Detroit, Mich, April 9, 2024.
Michigan Guard Military Police Soldiers end Guantanamo Mission
By Master Sgt. Helen Miller, | April 15, 2024
LANSING, Mich. – The water spray arch of two Detroit Metro Airport firetrucks marked the homecoming of 62 Michigan National Guard Citizen-Soldiers with the 177th Military Police Brigade following their deployment to Joint...

Pfc. Cassandra Vazquez receives an Army Achievement Medal from the Georgia Army National Guard command team of Maj. Gen. Dwayne Wilson and Command Sgt. Maj. John Ballenger during a battle handoff ceremony April 13, 2024, in Fort Stewart, Ga.
New Georgia Army Guard Soldiers say ‘Send Me’ Overseas
By Maj. Charles Emmons, | April 15, 2024
FORT STEWART, Ga. - On April 13, 194 new Soldiers joined the Georgia Army National Guard during a battle handoff ceremony that followed basic and military occupational specialty training. Most will now report to one of the...

A 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II refuels a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk during training over Alaska Jan. 11, 2021. A 210th RQS Pave Hawk carried out two medical evacuation missions April 4-5, 2024, one of them with a 211th RQS HC-130 and both with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angels.
Alaska Air National Guard Helps 3 Alaskans During 2 Missions
By David Bedard, | April 15, 2024
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen evacuated a mother and premature baby and rescued an injured snowmachiner in two missions at remote locations across Alaska April 4-5. The first mission...