One hundred New York National Guard airmen — including 80 from the 106th Rescue Wing — were in Brazil participating in exercises with their Brazilian Air Force counterparts, which ran through August 31.
The U.S. airmen were operating from the Brazilian Air Force base at Campo Grande in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state, as part of Exercise Tapio, a Brazilian search and rescue and close air support exercise.
The training involved 1,100 Brazilian personnel and aircraft from many different Brazilian units.
“These U.S. Air Force personnel will conduct combat search and rescue and close air support operations alongside Brazilian forces to grow our collective ability to meet complex global challenges, counter threats and maintain regional security and stability,” according to a statement from U.S. Southern Command.
The U.S. component, led by Colonel Jeff Cannet, the 106th Operations Group commander, included the 100 airmen, one HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft, three HH-60 Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopters, and two C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft.
This is the second year that the New York Air National Guard has participated in Exercise Tapio. In 2021, 80 personnel and two HH-60s took part in the exercise.
The exercise that year simulated war scenarios, to include helicopter infiltration and extrication, rescues which required a rope to access the patient, separated survivor scenarios, and an urban operation with a vehicle extrication and mass casualty event.
This year’s exercise has added aerial refueling of the HH-60s by the HC-130J Combat King aircraft into the mix.
“It’s great to be taking part in exercise Tapio again with a larger team than ever before,” Col. Cannet said.
“The friendships and professional development have grown behind the scenes over the past year and seeing all that come together during this exercise has been rewarding. We look forward to growing this strong partnership for years to come,” Col. Cannet added.
The New York Air National Guard was invited to participate because of the State Partnership Program (SPP) the New York National Guard shares with Brazil’s military.
New York National Guard personnel and units take part in joint training and exchanges with their Brazilian counterparts to further interoperability between the U.S. military and Brazil’s.
Recent interactions involved a visit by members of the New York Air National Guard’s 222nd Command and Control Squadron, which is a space operations unit, with their Brazilian counterparts. Brazilian leaders have also visited New York and observed security operations in New York City.