Air Forces from 13 Countries Train for Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Peru
By Dialogo May 02, 2014This type of cooperation that took place in Peru, between several American countries, is very important. Now every country should apply the logistics used in Peru, through a calendar and stay updated on what they learned. Congratulations to all the participants. I am from Guatemala! The exercise is good, one never know what could happen one day. Good for them and congratulations to those that participated. I hope they keep practicing it in every country...Honduras. THIS SHOULD ALWAYS BE THE DREAM OF OUR LIBERATORS...CONGRATULATIONS...SOUTH AMERICAN UNION. Peru, are you going through a crisis? I'm sorry, Peru. The Peruvian Air Force (FAP) hosted “Cooperación III,” a series of joint training exercises in which air force delegations from 13 countries engaged in drills focusing on how to respond to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The air force officers trained in the best ways to provide humanitarian support and conduct search and rescue missions. The exercises began April 23 and were scheduled to conclude on May 1. The airmen who participated in Cooperación III also trained in how to best provide medical assistance, how to conduct airlifts, and how to set up infrastructure, such as an Emergency Operations Center and a Disaster Relief Warehouse. The training began following inaugural remarks by Gen. Jaime Figueroa Olivos, commander of the FAP. He emphasized the high-level cooperation between the participating nations. The Argentine Air Force and Colombian Air Force participated in the initial exercise with a C-130 Hercules aircraft and a C-295 aircraft, respectively. The host country participated with an Antonov 32B, a light transport aircraft, and a Learjet 45. Representatives from the air forces of Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic attended Cooperación III as observers. More than 600 airmen participated including officers, non-commissioned officers, and technicians from various Air Corps units throughout the continent. The Cooperación III exercise was held at Air Group No. 8, FAP Air Base Major General Armando Revoredo Iglesias and Air Group No. 51, FAP FAP Air Base Captain Renán Elías Oliver. Training exercises for rescue operations was based on a disaster simulation of an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, followed by a “tsunami” in the area of Pisco. The drills involved cargo transport and passenger flights, aeromedical evacuation flights, search and rescue flights, and military maneuvers to protect the civilian population. The opening ceremony was held at Air Group No. 8 facilities on Callao Air Base with the assistance of all delegations of the System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA). The organization helps promote the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and training to enable strengthening the capabilities of air forces and their equivalents in order to support the requirements of its members. During his remarks which opened the training exercises, Gen. Figueroa said that Cooperación III has become an important multinational exercise. Thanks to the exercises, the military would have the capabilities of responding quickly to emergencies in Peruvian cities.
The importance of air power
Experience has shown that air power is often the most “effective” way to provide humanitarian assistance, according to the general. Rodrigo Loza Noboa, a retired Ecuadorean Air Force colonel who has participated in past joint training exercises, agreed that air power is crucial in responding to emergency situations. "For any search and rescue team the first 30 minutes are vital; therefore a good exercise is crucial to ensure appropriate responses from them," the retired colonel said. "In these exercises, both pilots and technical staff are taught to implement and to follow the chain of command to be followed in cases of humanitarian assistance to civilians so that no precious time is wasted. The more they practice, the better the results." Personnel from the air forces of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay participated in the training exercises. The multinational exercise received the support of the Peruvian National Police, Civil Defense, the Peruvian health system (EsSalud), and leaders of settlements in the southern region of the country. One exercise took place as military officers from different countries were conducting a conference. The exercise involved a simulated earthquake, which prompted the officers attending the conference to evacuate the site. Earthquakes are frequent in Peru because the country is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the most seismically active regions in the world.
Sports activities in Cooperación III
Cooperación III participants made time for fellowship activities through sport. In one of the groups, members of the air forces of Argentina, Canada, Colombia, and Peru played soccer, hockey, and table tennis. Some of the participants also engaged in the Peruvian sport known as Sapito, in which players throw metal chips on a board to earn scores. Sporting activities were carried out in the Air Group No. 8 Maintenance Hangar on Callao Air Base.