Chilean and U.S. Air Forces Train to Optimize Night Vision Goggle Use

Chilean and U.S. Air Forces Train to Optimize Night Vision Goggle Use

By Dialogo
March 09, 2015





The Chilean Air Force (FACh) recently trained with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) on the best ways to use night vision goggles (NVG) in F-16 fighter jets. The training will strengthen the nighttime operations of the FACh.

A team of three specialists from the 12th Air Force of the USAF traveled to Chile to train for four weeks with technical personnel from the FACh. The training focused on improving maintenance procedures and the correct use of NVG, Infodefensa
reported on January 23.

The Air Force personnel from the two countries also trained in the best ways to handle equipment failures as well as to verify pre- and post-flight procedures, in addition to performing NVG inspections and calibrations.

This is the third joint training session since June between the two air forces. In December, personnel from the two partner nations trained together at the Los Cóndores Air Base in Iquique, which is home to the First Air Brigade, and at the Cerro Moreno Air Base in Antofagasta, which is home to the No. 7 and No. 8 Aviation Groups of the Fifth Air Brigade.

The first training session was held last June, when 12 FACh officers trained for 15 days with two specialists from the 12th Air Force of the USAF in the performance, alignment, and adjustment of night vision goggles.

A rewarding partnership


Air Force personnel from both countries praised the joint training sessions.

“Working with members of the United States Air Force has been incredible,” said Chilean Airman Pedro Aguilera, according to the USAF.

"They have significant expertise in the different systems, but I think the part that surprised me was when I had the opportunity to meet with them in person, I showed them some different ways of doing things,” Aguilera said.

“It was very rewarding to work with them [the FACh members]; the partnership that we have developed with them has been very useful,” said Master Sergeant Jeremy Jacobs, manager of tactical aircraft for the USAF's 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and team leader for the training session in Chile, according to a January 7 USAF news release.

“Sometimes, it’s not about the help being provided, but what you can learn from the people you are helping, and during this trip I’ve learned a lot from the Chilean Air Force,” Jacobs added.

Other participants in the USAF team included Sergeant Cari Webb from the 563rd Operations Support Squadron, specializing in the flight aircrew and supervisory team, and Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Kelley, of the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 12 F-16, specializing in avionics instruction.

Sergeant Webb praised the FACh's expertise, saying the FACh members were "able to find new ways of improving what we've been able to explain to them, and that ingenuity is propelling their Air Force in the right direction."

During their stay in Chile, the U.S. troops successfully met all of the formation’s training objectives and established a strong partnership with the FACh.

Using training and technology to fight drug trafficking


The night vision technology will help the Chilean Air Force fight drug trafficking by detecting narco-flights.

“The training will enable the FACh to fight the drug cartels, identify new drug trafficking routes and be more effective in their missions,” said Carlos Mendoza Mora, a security consultant with Strategic Project Consulting, a private management consulting firm in Mexico City. "The main crimes that the Chilean Air Force is facing are related to the fight against transnational organized crime – particularly the drug cartels, which have been undergoing rapid changes – and the fight against terrorism.”

“The drug cartels have been modernizing the technology that they use. The use of drones of all types has multiplied, and they are difficult to identify using traditional mechanisms, such as radar,” Mendoza Mora explained. “The use of F-16 fighter jets and NVG equipment could inhibit the use of this type of equipment."

Cooperation between the Chilean and the U.S. Air Forces is producing good results.

"The cooperation between these countries involves a sustained commitment to deter transnational criminal organizations and preserve the security and stability of the region,” Mendoza Mora said. "Whenever there is this type of exchange in terms of training, there is an appropriate level of synergy and shared knowledge that is attained between the troops and officers. Formative links are established.”

The utility of night vision goggles


Night vision goggles, monocles, and multifunctional systems are optical devices that allow crew members to operate without problems in the middle of the night, according to the website Visores Nocturnos
.

The viewing devices can be used in areas with little or no visibility. They capture the existing ambient light and transform the incoming photons into electrons, which then penetrate the lens to become amplified on a phosphor screen.

NVG operations are not improvised. Detailed planning is carried out on the route to be taken. Prior flybys are made to mark the route, map the area, and record the paths taken; that information is then applied to actual flights, El Mercurio
reported on June 14, 2011.

FACh has 46 F-16 fighter jets in its fleet, made up of 10 F-16C/D Block 50/52 units acquired in 2002, 18 F-16 MLU M2 units acquired in 2005, and 18 F-16 MLU M4 units acquired in 2008, according to a report in Sur Noticias
.






The Chilean Air Force (FACh) recently trained with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) on the best ways to use night vision goggles (NVG) in F-16 fighter jets. The training will strengthen the nighttime operations of the FACh.

A team of three specialists from the 12th Air Force of the USAF traveled to Chile to train for four weeks with technical personnel from the FACh. The training focused on improving maintenance procedures and the correct use of NVG, Infodefensa
reported on January 23.

The Air Force personnel from the two countries also trained in the best ways to handle equipment failures as well as to verify pre- and post-flight procedures, in addition to performing NVG inspections and calibrations.

This is the third joint training session since June between the two air forces. In December, personnel from the two partner nations trained together at the Los Cóndores Air Base in Iquique, which is home to the First Air Brigade, and at the Cerro Moreno Air Base in Antofagasta, which is home to the No. 7 and No. 8 Aviation Groups of the Fifth Air Brigade.

The first training session was held last June, when 12 FACh officers trained for 15 days with two specialists from the 12th Air Force of the USAF in the performance, alignment, and adjustment of night vision goggles.

A rewarding partnership


Air Force personnel from both countries praised the joint training sessions.

“Working with members of the United States Air Force has been incredible,” said Chilean Airman Pedro Aguilera, according to the USAF.

"They have significant expertise in the different systems, but I think the part that surprised me was when I had the opportunity to meet with them in person, I showed them some different ways of doing things,” Aguilera said.

“It was very rewarding to work with them [the FACh members]; the partnership that we have developed with them has been very useful,” said Master Sergeant Jeremy Jacobs, manager of tactical aircraft for the USAF's 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and team leader for the training session in Chile, according to a January 7 USAF news release.

“Sometimes, it’s not about the help being provided, but what you can learn from the people you are helping, and during this trip I’ve learned a lot from the Chilean Air Force,” Jacobs added.

Other participants in the USAF team included Sergeant Cari Webb from the 563rd Operations Support Squadron, specializing in the flight aircrew and supervisory team, and Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Kelley, of the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 12 F-16, specializing in avionics instruction.

Sergeant Webb praised the FACh's expertise, saying the FACh members were "able to find new ways of improving what we've been able to explain to them, and that ingenuity is propelling their Air Force in the right direction."

During their stay in Chile, the U.S. troops successfully met all of the formation’s training objectives and established a strong partnership with the FACh.

Using training and technology to fight drug trafficking


The night vision technology will help the Chilean Air Force fight drug trafficking by detecting narco-flights.

“The training will enable the FACh to fight the drug cartels, identify new drug trafficking routes and be more effective in their missions,” said Carlos Mendoza Mora, a security consultant with Strategic Project Consulting, a private management consulting firm in Mexico City. "The main crimes that the Chilean Air Force is facing are related to the fight against transnational organized crime – particularly the drug cartels, which have been undergoing rapid changes – and the fight against terrorism.”

“The drug cartels have been modernizing the technology that they use. The use of drones of all types has multiplied, and they are difficult to identify using traditional mechanisms, such as radar,” Mendoza Mora explained. “The use of F-16 fighter jets and NVG equipment could inhibit the use of this type of equipment."

Cooperation between the Chilean and the U.S. Air Forces is producing good results.

"The cooperation between these countries involves a sustained commitment to deter transnational criminal organizations and preserve the security and stability of the region,” Mendoza Mora said. "Whenever there is this type of exchange in terms of training, there is an appropriate level of synergy and shared knowledge that is attained between the troops and officers. Formative links are established.”

The utility of night vision goggles


Night vision goggles, monocles, and multifunctional systems are optical devices that allow crew members to operate without problems in the middle of the night, according to the website Visores Nocturnos
.

The viewing devices can be used in areas with little or no visibility. They capture the existing ambient light and transform the incoming photons into electrons, which then penetrate the lens to become amplified on a phosphor screen.

NVG operations are not improvised. Detailed planning is carried out on the route to be taken. Prior flybys are made to mark the route, map the area, and record the paths taken; that information is then applied to actual flights, El Mercurio
reported on June 14, 2011.

FACh has 46 F-16 fighter jets in its fleet, made up of 10 F-16C/D Block 50/52 units acquired in 2002, 18 F-16 MLU M2 units acquired in 2005, and 18 F-16 MLU M4 units acquired in 2008, according to a report in Sur Noticias
.


All training is based on strategic planning; what matters is to determine its OBJECTIVE
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