A U.S. Air Force (USAF) delegation visited Brazil, November 8-10, 2021, to hold an annual bilateral meeting with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese). Representatives of the Brazilian Air Force General Staff (EMAER, in Portuguese) welcomed U.S. personnel at the Air Force Command in Brasília, Federal District, to discuss bilateral activities of interest to the defense sector and exchanges to be held over the next two years.
FAB General Paulo Roberto de Carvalho Júnior, head of EMAER’s Second Subdivision, told Diálogo about the importance of the meeting to maintain the operations of both air forces, and to preserve the excellent relationship and ties that unite USAF and FAB since World War II. “USAF is the force with which FAB has the largest number of activities in the scope of international cooperation, whether it be participating in exchanges, courses, or operational exercises,” he said. “The United States is the only country with which FAB holds yearly bilateral meetings, unlike other air forces, where such events are biennial or with even longer intervals between meetings,” he added.
FAB and USAF members held two separate meetings during the visit; the first was called Operator Engagement Talks. “We discussed topics such as updating the operations both countries carry out globally and in their regional surroundings: Project F-39 Gripen and the State Partnership Program with the New York Air National Guard, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV),” Gen. Paulo said. “USAF’s training for rotary-wing pilots and the use of data link equipment by USAF and other U.S. armed forces were also part of the meeting’s agenda,” he added.
The second meeting, Future Engagement Talks, addressed bilateral activities for 2022 and 2023. The topics included: FAB participation as observers in Exercise Mobility Guardian 2022; virtual exchange of UAV operations; U.S. participation in Exercise Tápio 2022, in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul; and flight instructor exchanges for the A-29 aircraft.
FAB and USAF have a long-standing partnership. Examples include the Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP) and the military academies cadet exchange agreement. “The exchange of two FAB A-29 aircraft instructors for three years at Moody Air Base, in Georgia, within the MPEP Program, was very positive,” Gen. Paulo said as an example.
“The service members were able to experience the daily routine of a U.S. squadron, including assuming the position of squadron commanders and other relevant tasks in an air unit,” Gen. Paulo said. According to the officer, this experience contributed to the implementation of new operational procedures for modern combat and air defense measures in FAB squadrons, integrated based on the knowledge acquired during the training of USAF pilots and from other nations as well, assigned to real missions in Afghanistan.
Gen. Paulo also highlighted the agreement for cadet training. “The FAB sends six service members from the Air Force Academy (AFA) for a six-month exchange at the USAF Academy. In turn, the U.S. also sends the same number of USAF cadets to AFA,” he said. “This increases bilateral relations between the two air forces with experience exchanges that would not be possible in isolated training processes,” he added.
USAF Major General Charles S. Corcoran, assistant deputy chief of Staff for Operations, thanked FAB for the opportunity to participate in the meetings. “This is my first time in Brazil and for my team members as well. It is very important to be here, at your headquarters, to meet and learn from each other,” he said.