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FIDAE Air Show, subject matter expert exchanges kick-off in Chile

Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, greets Brig. Gen. Anthony Phillips-Spencer, vice chief of Defence Staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, just before the FIDAE Air Show opening ceremony in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, greets Brig. Gen. Anthony Phillips-Spencer, vice chief of Defence Staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, just before the FIDAE Air Show opening ceremony in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet poses for a photo with (from left) Mr. Michael Hammer, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Jorge Burgos, Chilean Minister of Defense, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, Gen. Jorge Rojas, commander-in-chief of the Chilean air force, and Tom Kallman, president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide, in the U.S. exhibition pavilion at the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet poses for a photo with (from left) Mr. Michael Hammer, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Jorge Burgos, Chilean Minister of Defense, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, Gen. Jorge Rojas, commander-in-chief of the Chilean air force, and Tom Kallman, president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide, in the U.S. exhibition pavilion at the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Michael Hammer, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, gives a thumbs-up from a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Michael Hammer, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, gives a thumbs-up from a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Master Sgt. Pedro Soriano, an F-16 maintenance specialist from the Texas Air National Guard, talks with a counterpart from the Chilean air force about working with the F-16 during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Master Sgt. Pedro Soriano, an F-16 maintenance specialist from the Texas Air National Guard, talks with a counterpart from the Chilean air force about working with the F-16 during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules, from the Texas Air National Guard, sits on the ramp during a Chilean air force F-16 aerial demonstration at the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 and F-16.  The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules, from the Texas Air National Guard, sits on the ramp during a Chilean air force F-16 aerial demonstration at the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 and F-16. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Maj. Josh Ritzmann (far left) and 1st Lt. Jacob Fuhrmann (far right), C-130 pilots for the Texas Air National Guard, discuss C-130 operations with a Chilean maintenance expert during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

Maj. Josh Ritzmann (far left) and 1st Lt. Jacob Fuhrmann (far right), C-130 pilots for the Texas Air National Guard, discuss C-130 operations with a Chilean maintenance expert during the first day of the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, March 25. Nearly 60 U.S. Airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force counterparts during FIDAE, and as part of the events will host static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The exchanges, conducted regularly throughout the year, involve U.S. Airmen sharing best practices and procedures to build partnerships and promote interoperability with partner-nations throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Justin Brockhoff/Released)

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet presided over a ceremony today officially marking the start of FIDAE 2014, one of the largest international trade and air shows in the world, being held in Santiago, Chile, March 25 to 30.

Hundreds attended the ceremony which took place among a sea of military and civilian aircraft displays and included a flyover by three Chilean F-16s. Following the ceremony, exhibition pavilions and aircraft were opened for the trade show portion of the FIDAE, which will be followed by the public days over the weekend.

U.S. airmen, primarily from the Texas Air National Guard, are participating in FIDAE by hosting static displays of the C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon. In addition, the airmen are participating in subject matter expert exchanges with Chilean air force partners throughout the week to build partnerships and promote interoperability between the two air forces.

These events include discussions and demonstrations on C-130 maintenance and operations, F-16 maintenance and operations, human medical factors in aviation, parachuting procedures, military civil engineering, and providing medical support in a deployed area.

"U.S. military participation in these exchanges and the FIDAE air show provides an opportunity to strengthen our military-to-military relationships with regional partners," said Col. Steve Pedrotty, director of operations for 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), which overseas U.S. Air Force involvement and partnerships in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. "The opportunity to meet with our Chilean air force hosts promotes interoperability, which can be applied to events ranging from exercises to humanitarian assistance operations."

One of the events that took place during FIDAE's opening day included exchanges on C-130 maintenance and operations.

"The SMEE was a great opportunity to speak with our counterparts in the FACh about flying the C-130," said 1st Lt. Jacob Fuhrmann, a C-130 pilot from the Texas Air National Guard. "Several of their airmen visited our aircraft to talk about best practices with [auxiliary power unit] systems, and the Chileans gave us the chance to take a look inside one of their C-130s which had a modernized, glass cockpit."

The exchange will continue to have a lasting impact well after the event, according to Maj. Josh Ritzmann, also a C-130 pilot.

"We also had the opportunity to do some cross-talk with C-130 operations and share best practices on tactical employment," he added. "The talks helped enhance our relationship with the Chilean air force and broadened the scope of both U.S. and Chilean C-130 capabilities."

For detailed information about FIDAE to include directions, hours, and other information, please visit the airshow website at http://www.fidae.cl/en/web/show-aereo.

For more information on the U.S. aircraft on static display, please visit www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets.aspx.

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