U.S. Air Force (USAF) service members were in Brazil to participate in the Tápio 2021 Joint Exercise (EXCON, in Portuguese), conducted by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese). The activity, which simulated a war scenario, was carried out from the Campo Grande Air Base, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, August 16-September 3, 2021.
The fourth edition of EXCON Tápio highlighted interoperability between the participating armed forces and the missions shared with USAF aircraft and service members. U.S. service members and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters landed at Campo Grande Air Base on August 21.
The exercise was an opportunity for experience exchange and doctrinal development, according to a FAB statement. “This activity contributed to the country’s possible participation in missions foreseen in the United Nations peace agreements,” a FAB statement said.
One of the missions carried out during the training was an accident evacuation, where participants put into practice aeromedical evacuation techniques. The activity consists of removing the wounded from the site to an area where they can receive initial medical care.
During the exercise, U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk transported teams of U.S. and Brazilian service members tasked with rescuing service members critically injured, under the presence of hostile paramilitaries, according to the simulation.
Brigadier General Denise M. Donnell, commander of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base, representing USAF during EXCON Tápio, stressed the importance of the exercise: “We were integrated as a team, learned from each other, and had a fruitful exchange of information and expertise to strengthen the two teams and, once again, to build relationships between Brazil and the United States.”
EXCON Tápio 2021
According to FAB, the fourth edition of EXCON Tápio used close to 30 aircraft that completed over 800 flight hours. A total of 16 squadrons and infantry units participated in the activities, including more than 900 service members. “The training simulated an irregular war scenario, forming task forces and alerts focused on search and rescue in combat,” according to the FAB statement.
FAB General Clauco Fernando Vieira Rossetto, director of the exercise and Campo Grande Air Base commander, highlighted the interoperability between Brazil’s three armed forces and USAF as one of the major challenges of EXCON Tápio 2021. “The final result was positive as it showed us new tactics, techniques, and procedures within maximum operationality and safety,” according to his statement on the FAB website.