NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
Pilots and aircrew from the U.S. and the Brazilian Air Force worked and trained together during exercise Green Flag West, June 3-14, 2019.
Aircrew from the 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho Air National Guard, partnered with members of the Brazilian Air Force for the air-land integration exercise, which gave airmen from both nations the chance to conduct realistic close air support in a joint training environment.
Green Flag West was also an opportunity for the U.S. to work together with an important ally. Members of both countries were able to learn and train together, integrating operations and collaborating on multiple simulated close air support missions.
“The overall experience has been positive,” said Major John Meyers, 190th Fighter Squadron A-10 pilot. “We get exposure to what they do and get to talk to [the Brazilian Air Force] and see how they do things. They in turn get the exposure with us and what we do.”
1st Lieutenant Bruno Iha, Brazilian Air Force A-29 pilot, said he was impressed by the skills and capabilities of U.S. Air Force airmen and aircrew, and emphasized the benefits of exchanging knowledge and best practices.
“Exchanging these experiences with the United States pilots is very important for the Brazilian Air Force, especially in updating tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Iha. “So being here at Green Flag, we can know how they work, how they train. We can see their love for their profession.”
Green Flag West is held jointly by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army and is designed to mirror current conditions present in overseas contingency operations. Throughout the exercise, Brazilian A-29 Super Tucano and U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft operated in the skies over U.S. Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
“It’s a great environment to learn, prepare and operate together,” said Major Kelsey Finley, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Foreign Area Officer. “The Idaho pilots and the Brazilian pilots are communicating what’s challenging, what they see are areas of growth and communicating how we can operate better. There’s a lot of good learning going on for both countries.”
Members from both air forces cited this exercise as an eye-opening experience, one revealing the shared purpose and mission of both the U.S. and Brazilian Air Force.
“We’re from different countries, but we are all on the same path,” Iha said. “We are all working together for a better place, a better country.”