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AFSOUTH Airmen exchange ideas with counterparts in Honduras

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
Airmen from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) participated in several subject matter expert exchanges with Honduran Air Force counterparts April 6 to 12.

The Airmen participated in operator engagements with the FAH where they discussed intelligence, maintenance, medical, aircrew and communications. The goal was to define requirements and ensure the FAH can sustain and support maritime patrol operations, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief.

"The benefit of the SMEE was to engage with Honduran Air Force operators to better understand their requirements and define the country's five-year roadmap focused on improving their ISR, command and control, as well as mobility capabilities," said Capt. Saul Ramos, Honduras Desk Officer 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern).

During the discussions, the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) personnel provided insight that focused on aircraft maintenance, intelligence, flight medicine and the State Partnership Program.

"Puerto Rico is the state partner for Honduras under the National Guard's State Partnership Program," added Ramos. "It's beneficial because the members of Puerto Rican Air National Guard are bilingual, which helps with communications. They also have capabilities to help support Honduras with command and control, ISR, operational mobility."

After the briefings, the team kicked off the operator discussions with each of the partner-nation specialists.

"During this trip to Honduras our focus was on B-200 operations, intelligence, communication and Surgeon General cadre. We wanted to identify operator requirements in order to help Honduras meet maritime patrol aircraft and humanitarian assistance mission needs," said Ramos.

Part of the operator discussions involved sessions to assess the FAH's current patient movement and aeromedical evacuation capabilities.

"A lot of work has to go into helping Honduras improve their AE capabilities," said Maj. Daisy Huisentruit, from the 12 AF (AFSOUTH) Surgeon General's office. "Honduras' medical military mostly consists of civilian doctors who only work part time with the military. The rest of the time they work within their own private practices. The focus should be on increasing their medical staff and look at the lowest levels of training such as Self-Aid and Buddy Care or Tactical Combat Casualty Care."

Intelligence collection was also a topic of discussion during the operator meetings. Discussions between the FAH the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) Airmen was focused on improving the FAH's airborne ISR capabilities.

"Airborne ISR is a burgeoning yet vital capability for our Central American partners not only in the fight against transnational organized crime, but also as an effective tool during humanitarian assistance or disaster relief efforts," said Maj. Timothy Wankowski, an intelligence officer assigned to 12 AF (AFSOUTH). "Eyes in the sky are proven force multipliers for the Honduran Air Force as well as joint and interagency organizations."

The final part of the discussions was a discussion about aircraft operations and maintenance.

"The operations piece was mainly focused on basic crew safety requirements for the Honduran aircraft," added Master Sgt. Roberto Vasquez, Superintendent of Maintenance Operations for 12 AF (AFSOUTH). "We also discussed civil aviation best practices, preventative maintenance, service bulletins, and scheduled inspection items. My goal here was to communicate the wide range of available sources for maintenance information available to them in the open market. With this the FAH will be better available to maintain the platform.".

12th AF (AFSOUTH) is part of U.S. Southern Command, which is a joint military command supporting U.S. national security objectives throughout the Western Hemisphere in cooperation with domestic and international partners, in order to foster security, ensure stability, and promote prosperity throughout Central and South America, the Caribbean and the global community.