Brazil and Paraguay Conduct Military Exercise to Combat Illicit Flights
By Dialogo May 16, 2013
Aircraft from the Brazilian and Paraguayan Air Forces operated between May 6 – 10, at the PARBRA III binational military exercise, providing training on rules and procedures to strengthen the surveillance of airspace in the border region. During the exercise, controllers and pilots of both countries worked jointly to transfer unfamiliar air traffic, to monitor and, if needed, to intercept any unidentified aircraft that may cross the border. The training was conducted at the Campo Grande Air Force Base, located in the mid-west region of Brazil, 124 miles from the border with Paraguay.
On the morning of May 8, a C-208 Caravan airplane from the Paraguayan Air Force (FAP) simulated an irregular flight and was stopped by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), then forced to land at the Campo Grande Air Force Base. This time there was no illegal cargo or criminals on board. Instead, there were honorable passengers, such as journalists, photographers, and cameramen from the main Paraguayan press.
The members of the media were very interested in the exercise and in the positive results that the cooperation between the two air forces can bring from this type of activity.
Lieutenant Colonel Marcelo Alvim, FAB Commander in the operation, stressed the importance of planning, which involved teams from six cities. “Military officers from both countries in Campo Grande, Brasília, Curitiba, Asunción, Concepción, and Pedro Juan Caballero worked to make the training a success,” he said.
Each day in Paraguay, four interception simulations, two takeoffs from Campo Grande and another two from Concepción were conducted. Aside from training the fighter pilots, Brazilian and Paraguayan air defense and airspace controllers in this exercise performed an exchange at the mobile radar station installed by the FAP at the Second Integrated Air Defense Center and Air Traffic Control, in Pedro Juan Caballero, Curitiba.
In the third edition of the PARBRA exercise, the FAB and FAP used approximately 20 airplanes and 150 Soldiers. The training will establish a system to transfer information between the Brazilian and Paraguayan air defenses.
The FAB used A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes from the 3º/3º Aviation Group for the interception, the C-98 Caravan from the 1º/15º Aviation Group as target airplane, the E-99 radar airplane from the 2º/6º Aviation Group, as well as the 2º/10º search and rescue squadron on standby. The third exercise between both countries used the FAB MRCS 403 tactical radars for the first time.