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Airmen partner with South American air forces for Chile's Salitre exercise

F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing from San Antonio depart for training sorties during Exercise Coronet Cactus April 24 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.  The 149th Fighter Wing is a Texas Air National Guard unit and trains active duty F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt Jack Braden)

Airmen and F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas are currently participating in Salitre 2014, which is hosted by the Chilean air force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

CERRO MORENO AIR BASE, Chile -- Airmen from U.S. Air Forces Southern, the Texas Air National Guard's 149th Fighter Wing and the Ohio National Guard's 121st Air Refueling Wing are participating in Salitre 2014, an exercise hosted by the Chilean air force October 4-18 at Cerro Moreno Air Base near Antofagasta, Chile.

The exercise will include participants from Chile, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay with a focus on enhancing multilateral interoperability between partner nations. Airmen participating in the exercise will be using six F-16 Fighting Falcons from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and a KC-135 Stratotanker from Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio.

The goal of Salitre 2014 is to continue to build strong partnerships with Airmen from across Latin America while ensuring Airmen are prepared to assist international community as part of coalition-style efforts.

Scenarios within the engagement will have a broad application to all participating nations. The exercise will allow airmen from each participating nation to share Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures on many subjects including defensive air operations, operations coordination and scheduling, and best maintenance practices; all of which can be applied to maritime, littoral waters, over-land areas of operations, and defense of national territory.

The Airmen and F-16s from the 149 FW were selected as participants in this engagement because of Texas's link to Chile, the host nation for the exercise, through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program. SPP matches a National Guard state with a foreign partner country to exchange military skills and experience, share defense knowledge, and enhance partnership capacity and further mutual security cooperation.

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