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Home : News : State Partnership Program
NEWS | Oct. 11, 2011

New York Guard's 106th Rescue Wing participates in South African Air Show

By New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs

GABRESKI AIRPORT, WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY - Thirty Air National Guard members from the 106th Rescue Wing were in South Africa late last month to represent the United States at the Airshow and Life Style Expo at Air Force Base Waterkloof near Pretoria, the South African Capitol.

The Citizen-Airmen displayed the capabilities of the HC-130 Hercules transport aircraft they fly as search and rescue aircraft by conducting and air drop and a simulated medical evacuation in front of a crowd estimated to reach 50,000.

The air show took place on Oct. 1. The Airmen also spent time training with their South African counterparts.

Last year, the 106th Rescue Wing sent 20 Airmen and an HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter to participate at the Africa Aerospace and Defense Exposition at Ysterplaat Air Force Base outside Cape Town.

The South African visit is being conducted under the auspices of the New York National Guard's State Partnership Program relationship with the South African National Defense Force.

The State Partnership Program is a National Guard initiative that grows relationships, enhances international security and builds capacity between National Guard's of one of the 54 states and territories and another nation. New York and South Africa have been paired in this program since 2003 and routinely conduct training exchanges.

A team of New York Army National Guard Military Police Soldiers visited the South African National Police Academy in September, and last year a delegation of South African Reserve military leaders visited New York.

The 106th Rescue Wing's visit to South Africa last year was also conducted through the State Partnership Program.