U.S., Honduran Airmen exchange survival techniques
By Tech. Sgt. Lesley Waters, 615th Contingency Response Wing public affairs
/ Published February 23, 2012
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS -- From the briefing room at Col. Hernán Acosta Mejia Air Base to the hillsides of Tamara, the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape air advisors and the Honduran Air Force aircrew exchanged survival techniques and procedures during the Air Mobility Command's Building Partner Capacity mission at Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The BPC mission is designed to promote regional stability by fostering key relationships and enhancing partner nation capabilities. In addition, the 571st's mission supports 12th Air Force's (Air Forces Southern) continued engagements in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility of Latin America and the Caribbean.
"The Honduran Air Force already has a great outlook on aircrew survival," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Foret, 571 MSAS SERE specialist air advisor. "We are now working towards application of the ideas and continuity to promote interoperability. The better we understand how each other's programs work, the greater security and assistance we can offer one another."
Air crew survival is one of the seven core competencies the MSAS Airmen are working side-by-side with Honduran Air Force members. The other seminars include air base defense, air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, communications, generator maintenance and safety.
Every single member of an aircrew must be able to survive on their own in any environment under any conditions should their aircraft go down. The 571 MSAS SERE specialists worked with the Honduran Air Force aircrew to establish a more robust survival program.
"The value of an aircrew member surviving on his own after a crash and returning home is immeasurable," said Tech. Sgt. Troy Daland, 571 MSAS SERE specialist air advisor. "We are building stronger international air force cooperation, interoperability and mutual support. When a crisis or contingency operation occurs in the future, we are better prepared to respond together."
The aircrew survival seminar included topics in knot-tying, shelter construction, fire building, using map and compass for land navigation, vectoring, signaling and rescue techniques and first aid.
"They (U.S. Air Force) came and planted a seed on the importance of survival that all pilots and air chiefs need so much," said Captain Nubia Patricia Andrade Pazzetti, Honduran Air Force pilot and chief of human resources. "Now we see the importance and the necessity of having a section that maintains the training and refreshes us on survival to the different flight circulations."
The MSAS Airmen are honing their skills and becoming better aviators, maintainers, communications specialists, by exchanging ideas with the Honduran Airmen. This is the aim of the first MSAS deployment to Honduras. It is to be a springboard for discussions about air mobility that will launch the two air forces into finding collaborative solutions to regional challenges.