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AFSOUTH and Guatemalan Air Force collaborate to stop illicit trafficking in Central America

  • Published
  • By by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
Members from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) are preparing for subject matter expert exchanges with the Guatemalan military to support initiatives to stem transnational organized crime in the region.

Illicit trafficking, ranging from drug and money laundering to illegal human trafficking, is a transnational threat affecting all nations in the Western Hemisphere, according to officials here. The problems posed by these crimes require partner nations to work together to effectively counter the threats.

12th AF (AFSOUTH) Airmen support this mission by assisting in a variety of ways, from lending Airmen's experience to partner nations to help establish new programs, such as with Guatemala's efforts on their new surveillance platform, to helping the partner nation learn to maintain the platform and more.

"In this specific case, we're helping fulfill U.S. Southern Command's Theater Campaign Plan through these recurring engagement events which are focused on enabling the capacity and capabilities of our Partner Nations," said Mr. Ted Tennison, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Senior Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Analyst.

Airmen from AFSOUTH will assist in the early phases helping the Guatemalan air force employ the Beechcraft 200, an aircraft used to conduct airborne surveillance that will assist the Guatemalan Air Force in Countering Transnational Organized Crime through a process known as tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED).

TPED is a cycle of developing raw data into finished information that will be used in the decision making process and help intercept illicit traffickers before they can hand-off their illegal cargo.

During the exchanges planned over the next several months, AFSOUTH Airmen will also have the opportunity to learn some of the Guatemalan Air Force's best practices in countering illicit drug trafficking in the region.

"These engagements have been a great success and have laid down a great foundation for future visits," said Maj. Timothy Wankowski, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Deputy Chief of Intelligence Plans. "The United States and Guatemala have a strong partnership and we look forward to being a part of helping them establish this new capability."