Chile’s Joint Southern Command Conducts Search & Rescue Training

Chile’s Joint Southern Command Conducts Search & Rescue Training

By Dialogo
August 31, 2015

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A civilian airplane recently crashed into the sea in the southern sector of Puerto Williams - or so Chilean Air Force IV Air Brigade service members were told during a recent exercise coordinated by the Joint Southern Command.

But the crash was actually part of a simulation. Participants provided first aid to the passengers and transported them to a regional hospital during the training session, which was just part of the Air Search and Rescue Service (SAR) exercise on July 2.

The SAR training is conducted every six months, but on this occasion it included several representatives from civilian, Military, government, and private institutions responsible for responding to air emergency situations in the jurisdiction of Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctic. The IV Air Brigade, meanwhile, is responsible for controlling air space from Campos de Hielo Sur to the Chilean territory in Antarctica, and also conducts search and rescue operations in the country’s south. Its pilots are known for their extensive flight experience and continual air combat training.

"Chile’s Air Force and Navy participated in the training, with a fundamental part of the organization falling to the Air Force," the IV Air Brigade Press Office, told Diálogo
. The Joint Southern Command also includes Chile's Army.

“Chile is an extensive country with difficult topography on top of a variable climate,” the PressOffice explained. “We have a long coast navigated by domestic and international ships, as well as an incipient air transit area along the entire length. This is why, as a Search and Rescue Service, we must be well-trained and absolutely coordinated with other national institutions who help provide this service.”

Training brings together branches of the Armed Forces

The recurring SAR exercises allow branches of the Military to work together on rescue operations, preparing them for real scenarios.

“This training has allowed personal contact between crew members of the ships and aircraft, to learn how they work and how both sections (air and sea) should interact, and how to support each other to achieve the desired results, which is to arrive on time to rescue and save lives,” the Press Office explained.

Prior to the exercise, the IV Air Brigade coordinated a seminar on Air Medical Evacuation (EVACAM).

“We drafted a preliminary plan as a theoretical framework, and later we executed the practicum phase, consisting of the simulation of an emergency using real media.”

After the theoretical points were developed during the initial part of the seminar, the year’s first SAR meeting ended with a practical exercise where members of the EVACAM team honed their skills.

“During this activity, we have seen how a subject as sensitive as EVACAM has been discussed in depth so we could coordinate and respond as quickly as possible to those persons who need us,” said Commander in Chief of the IV Air Brigade, Air Brigadier General Manuel Sainz Salas.