U.S., Honduran Air Forces kick-off BPC mission with opening ceremony
By Tech. Sgt. Lesley Waters, 615th Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 27, 2012
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS -- A group of approximately 20 members of Air Mobility Command's 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, alongside their Honduran Air Force counterparts, participated in a Jan. 25 ceremony kicking off the start of a mission designed to enhance military-to-military relations between the two nations.
Along with two members of the Inter American Air Forces Academy, 318th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas, the Travis AFB, Calif., based MSAS Airmen arrived here Jan. 23, as part of month-long Building Partner Capacity mission. The BPC mission, carried out by AMC's two MSASs, 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 continued engagements in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The ceremony, which took place at the Col. Hernán Acosta Mejia Air Base facilities here, opened with remarks from U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, and Honduran Brig. Gen. Ruiz Pastor Landa Dubón, Honduran Air Force commanding general.
"Through the MSAS deployment time, the U.S. and Honduran Air Forces will work together, sharing ideas and building friendships, all through the lens of our common quest for innovation and our shared passion for flight," Rand said. "The time spent together over the next several weeks will be a springboard for discussions about air mobility, leading our two air forces to find collaborative solutions to regional challenges."
Following Rand's remarks, the Honduran Air Force commanding general welcomed the U.S. Air Force here and reiterated that both countries will benefit from the forum for exchange of ideas the MSAS deployment provides.
"It is with much respect and admiration that we appreciate the support provided by the US Air Force. "This is because our air force was initially led by three American aviators in the decades of the 1930s and 1940s. This shows a long-standing interaction between our two nations."
The Airmen, representing 15 Air Force specialties, will work side-by-side with Honduran Air Force members in developing the seven core competencies of air base defense, air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, aircrew survival, communications, generator maintenance and safety. The MSAS Airmen will participate in a mutually beneficial forum for the exchange of ideas between U.S. and Honduran Airmen via interactive classroom sessions and hands-on training at the base and surrounding areas.
"When a crisis or contingency operation occurs in the future, we will be more prepared to respond together," Rand said. "For example, if a natural disaster occurs, our two air forces will already have an understanding of one another's strengths and capabilities, as well as a deep camaraderie based on our respect for each other."
Rand concluded his remarks by saying the MSAS is not the first nor will it be the last time the U.S. and Honduran Air Forces work together.