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Total Force Integration and Joint Operations Showcase Teamwork

METETI, Panama – Exercise New Horizons 2018, an exercise focused on pre-deployment preparation, deploying, operating, and redeploying to a location outside the United States, had the first personnel in country in February to begin laying the groundwork for a variety of medical, engineering, and support services missions soon to follow, providing an environment for a diverse military team to operate and thrive.

 

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corp, Army and Navy from Active Duty, Reserve and Air National Guard making up the main group of exercise participants converged in Meteti, Panama, in May, showcasing the true definition of Total Force Integration and Joint Operations.

 

The Air Force has exercise lead, but all four Department of Defense services are playing a hand in executing the mission.

“It shows the strength of our combined military force. In all facets, it doesn’t matter what your background is,” said Air Force Col. Darren Ewing, 346th Air Expeditionary Group commander. “You can be an engineer in the Air Force or a combat engineer in the Marine Corp, you can be a doctor in the Navy or a doctor in the Air Force; we all have strengths and weaknesses and putting us together in the same locations allows us to build on those strengths and help with each other’s weaknesses.”

 

While the Air Force is providing the brunt of the personnel from active duty, Reserve and ANG, the mission is enhanced by Marine Corp Reserve combat engineers and civil affairs teams, active duty and Army National Guard and Navy doctors, as well as Army Reserve ambulance drivers and medics.

 

U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 2 Calvin Gatch leads a team of Reserve Marine Corps combat engineers from the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Peoria, Illinois. While his team is in a support role for the exercise, their drive and experience has proven them an incredibly valuable piece of the team and they were quickly assimilated into the ranks of the 346th Expeditionary RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer) team leading construction efforts.

 

“We bring our military, and in some cases our civilian experience, to the job,” Gatch said. “We are here to help. If it’s getting a vehicle unstuck, swinging a hammer or laying electrical lines, our role is to demonstrate that Marines, in small group rotations, can make a significant difference on projects like this.”

 

While the effects of the New Horizons exercise are humanitarian in nature, a primary objective of the program is deployment training, where each member gains experience and works with other branches and seeing the benefits they deliver in accomplish the mission.

 

“The whole unit becomes stronger and we learn each other’s culture,” Ewing, a 28-year Air Force veteran, said. “The ability to work, where we are not under threat, makes it so when we do have to deploy in a combat situation we are already cohesive, we already have that understanding of how the other services think and act. We have that appreciation for each other’s cultures.”

 

That appreciation for culture with each service also encompasses each service type.

 

“In the Air Force we have a guard culture and a reserve culture, but we are all Airmen,” Ewing said. “When you put on the uniform and deploy down range you can’t tell the difference. What’s great about the guard and reserve is they bring civilian skills to the exercise. It’s phenomenal and it makes the whole unit stronger.”

 


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Always Ready to Defend! 24/7/365 🇺🇸
A true honor to work with our Partner Nation! #partnership
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Members of the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana are training this week at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as they prepare for Red Flag 18-3! Check out our video from a Colombian 767 as the aircrew performs an in-air refueling of 3 Colombian Air Force Kfir fighters! U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
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A true honor to work with our Partner Nation! #partnership
Check out the view from inside a Colombian Air Force refueling tanker as it performs an in-air refueling mission in the skies above Tucson, Arizona! Members of the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana are training this week at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as they prepare for Red Flag 18-3. This week has been another great example of how the U.S. and partner nation air forces train together to accomplish shared goals. U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
Wow! What a sight to see! Fuerza Aérea Colombiana #Kfir aircraft preparing for #RedFlag 18-3! U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Nellis Air Force Base Air Combat Command
Members of the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana are training this week at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as they prepare for Red Flag 18-3! Check out our video from a Colombian 767 as the aircrew performs an in-air refueling of 3 Colombian Air Force Kfir fighters! U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
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Today we said farewell to Colonel Eric Cólen Guedes, 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) Brazilian Air Force Liaison Officer. Colonel Cólen received a Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his work as a crucial link between 12th Air Force and the Brazilian Air Force. Our Liaison Officers play a critical role in strengthening ties between 12th Air Force and our partner nation air forces. We thank Colonel Cólen for his hard work and wish him luck as he moves on to his next assignment! U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Força Aérea Brasileira
Check out this live shot of the Colombians training and flying here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander met with Colombian Air Force Brig. Gen. Pablo Enrique Garcia Valencia! 🇺🇸🇨🇴🤝
The Colombian Air Force Fuerza Aérea Colombiana has sent their finest Kfir team to participate in Red Flag 18-3! 🇺🇸🇨🇴🚩🎉 U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Nellis Air Force Base
Here's your chance to meet some of our Partner Nation Colombian Airmen! #RedFlag2018 🚩 🇺🇸🇨🇴
We’d like to give a 🔥warm 🤗 welcome to the members of the Colombian Air Force Fuerza Aérea Colombiana who arrived today at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona! They will train with the 162nd Wing Arizona Air National Guard as they prepare for Red Flag 18-3!🚩️🇺🇸🇨🇴️ U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Air Combat Command Nellis Air Force Base
Happy Independence Day!
Creech Air Force Base Airmen show-off the MQ-9 Reaper!
A Colombian Air Force pilot shows his enthusiasm about participating in the upcoming Red Flag 18-3! We are just as excited as him! 😁🎉🌎✈️
Wow! The F-15E Strike Eagle's train with JTACS!
The Colombian Air Force are bringing their #Kfir's to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada for Red Flag 18-3!
Check out our video from the Conference of American Air Chiefs in Panama City, Panama! This conference brought together Air Force leaders from 19 nations in the Western Hemisphere June 18-22. The System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA), the conference’s sponsoring organization, was established in 1961 and promotes the exchange of experiences, knowledge and training among member nations to strengthen cooperative capabilities in North and South America. Senan Panamá Embajada de Estados Unidos en Panamá U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs Heidi Grant Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca United States Air Force
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