Members of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) took part in the fifth edition of Brazilian Air Force- (FAB) sponsored Joint Exercise (EXCON) Tápio 2022. The exercise was carried out at Campo Grande Air Base (BACG), in Mato Grosso do Sul state, August 16-September 3.
EXCON Tápio gathered more than 900 military personnel from the Brazilian Army (EB), Brazilian Navy (MB) and the FAB, including some 100 members of the U.S. Air National Guard. This was the second consecutive year that the United States participated in the event.
Some 30 aircraft flew more than 890 hours, including four U.S. aircraft: three HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters — brought in two Boeing C-17 Globemaster — and one HC-130J Combat King II. The aircraft carried out attack missions, missions with night vision goggles, aerospace reconnaissance, airborne infiltration, combat search and rescue, air refueling, close air support, parachute and airdrop, laser-guided bombing, and aeromedical evacuation, among others.
According to the FAB Air Force Agency, the training aimed to improve the doctrinal development of joint tactics, in addition to the technical training of military units of the FAB, MB, and EB Preparatory Command, and of foreign counterparts, such as the USAF.
The U.S. Air National Guard from Oregon, Idaho, and Maryland also contributed their expertise to EXCON Tápio, bringing air force asset employment capabilities in an irregular warfare environment. “This exchange allows for a doctrinal evolution of FAB through TTPs [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures] of an armed force that is constantly proving itself in the global scene against this type of threat,” the FAB Air Force Agency statement said.
“The exchange of knowledge and experiences with partner nations is very important for the improvement of our military,” FAB Captain Raphael Lopes Rosa, head of the BACG Evaluation and Doctrine Section, told the FAB website. “Modern warfare has changed a lot in recent years, and this is an opportunity to learn more from the U.S. [personnel] about how to act in these conflicts. And for them, it is a training opportunity, since the EXCON Tápio scenario is very close to the one they train in,” he added.
Brigadier General Denise Donnell, commander of the New York Air National Guard, highlighted to the FAB Air Force Agency the importance of the U.S. participation in EXCON Tápio for the second time and the growth of the partnership between Brazil and the United States. “We are proud to participate in this exercise, learning from our Brazilian friends and sharing some of our knowledge with you,” Brig. Gen. Donnell said.
Brazilian Defense Minister Army General Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira, along with General Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, FAB commander, and other high ranking officers, visited EXCON Tápio 2022 at BACG on August 29. “This training is very important for the Ministry of Defense and for our Armed Forces, especially when we have a military power such as the United States coming to integrate with our forces, with doctrinal gain, training, and experience exchanges,” Gen. Paulo Sergio said during the visit.
“EXCON Tápio allows for the development of new tactics, techniques, and procedures. It is also one more opportunity that we have to act in a joint environment, that is, of the three forces, but also combined with the participation of the U.S. National Guard and the state of New York,” Gen. Baptista Junior said.
Major General Clauco Fernando Vieira Rossetto, commander of the BACG and director of EXCON Tápio 2022, said that the key word of the exercise was interoperability. “We had the participation of the three Brazilian forces and the U.S. force, carrying out an essential exercise both for our sovereignty and for action training, especially air force actions,” he concluded.