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571st MSAS, Colombia air force prepare for Red Flag Exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Ayre
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
With the Air Force continuously evolving, an emphasis has been placed on building partnerships and exchanging ideas with nations around the world. The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron recently completed a four-week Air Mobility Command Building Partner Capacity mission to Colombia where they worked side-by-side with the Colombian air force to exchange invaluable knowledge that benefited both Colombia and the United States alike.

The mission also supports the 12th Air Force's (Air Forces Southern) continued engagements in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Over the course of the 571st MSAS mission in Colombia the two air forces built on an already strong partnership based on mutual respect, common interests and shared values.

"Colombia is a very important partner in South America," said Staff Sgt Javier, 571st MSAS air advisor loadmaster, "Having that interoperability between our two air forces will pay dividends in case of any natural disaster or future exercises and deployments involving both nations." The 571st MSAS, stationed out of Travis AFB, Calif., brought their mission back to U.S. soil, at Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz., where they continued to work with the Colombians while they prepared to take part in their first ever Red Flag Exercise at Nellis Air Force Base in Nev.

"This interaction with the U.S. Air Force is very important to us," said Master Sgt. John Pedraza, Colombian air force superintendent. "This opportunity to participate in Red Flag is something we can't just study about in books."

The Colombian air forces role in Red Flag is a first for the nation which, until now, typically work within their own bases. Red Flag is the world's premiere combat training exercise with participation from more than 25 countries.

Red Flag has provided training for more than 440,000 military personnel, including more than 145,000 aircrew members flying more than 385,000 sorties and logging more than 660,000 hours of flying time. The mock battle in the skies over the Nevada Test and Training Range has yielded results that will increase the combat capability of each country's armed forces for future combat situations.

"This is a nice opportunity," Pedraza said. "I feel so proud and I want to be the best at Nellis."