CAMPO GRANDE, Brazil – Two weeks of New York Air National Guard joint training with the Brazilian Air Force climaxed with a demonstration mission in front of Brazilian and American leaders Aug. 29.
One hundred New York Air National Guard members participated in Brazil’s Exercise Tapio Aug. 20-30.
The joint exercise revolved around tactical problems, including helicopter infiltration and extrication, rescues that required a rope to access the patient, separated survivor scenarios, and an urban operation with a vehicle extrication and mass casualty event.
Leaders said that during the final event, the Brazilians and Americans demonstrated their trust in each other’s aircraft and tactical practices.
During the final exercise, the American and Brazilian Airmen conducted a rescue mission while engaging a simulated enemy with blanks and explosive simulators.
The visitors watching the demonstration included Brazilian Minister of Defense Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira.
The goal of the joint training was to promote mutual understanding, trust and interoperability and increase the capacity of the American and Brazilian Armed Forces, said Army Brig. Gen. Isabel Smith, the director of joint staff for the New York National Guard.
New York took part because of its State Partnership Program relationship with Brazil.
“This exercise has been a great experience for our Air Force personnel to conduct combat search and rescue and close air support operations alongside the Brazilian forces,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Denise Donnell, the commander of the New York Air National Guard.
The training also tested the support staff who took part in the exercise, Donnell said.
“We are seeing our maintainers utilizing their different skill sets and experience and working incredibly hard to make this mission a success and to safely be able to fix our aircraft to support this exercise,” she emphasized.
“They have maintained a great positive attitude and enjoyed working with their Brazilian military counterpart.”
The State Partnership Program has been an innovative, cost-effective program, according to National Guard officials. It supports Combatant Command, U.S. Embassy and partner nation objectives but also builds defense capability and capacity and fosters enduring and personal relationships.
Through the program, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen conduct military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals and also leverage whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency involvement spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.
“The strong relationships between our countries are continually based on mutual respect and experience we can teach each other. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to execute countless key leader engagements and exercises,” Smith said.