SANTIAGO, Chile - Airmen from the Texas Air National Guard and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) arrived in Chile over the weekend for subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts, and to host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon during the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, March 25 through 30.
The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Texas Guard and Chile have shared a State Partnership Program relationship since 2008.
The exchanges will include discussions and demonstrations on C-130 maintenance and operations, F-16 maintenance and operations, human medical factors in aviation, parachuting procedures, military civil engineering and providing medical support in a deployed area.
Many of this year's events with the Chilean air force are scheduled to take place in or near Santiago from late March to early April.
"Participating in these exchanges solidifies our partnerships in the region and makes us better Airmen," said Col. Steve Pedrotty, the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) team lead and an F-16 pilot. "Both sides gain from the experience, and by the end we are also more prepared to work together in case of situations that call for humanitarian assistance or some type of disaster relief."
While U.S. Airmen are in Chile for these exchanges, they will also host the static displays of U.S. aircraft being used in the events during the FIDAE airshow.