The U.S. Air Force’s 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron recently conducted their first-ever mission to Costa Rica. The nine-member team executed a three-week building partner capacity mission with the country’s Air Surveillance Service (SVA), from May 16-June 9, 2018.
“This was our first mission to Costa Rica and my team executed and established the groundwork to build and strengthen a solid foundation of interoperability between our nations and to create a new and growing relationship,” said Maj. Noelle DeRuyter, mobile training team (MTT) mission commander. “There can be no static script when working with any country let alone a country as unique as this one. My team had to be agile and ready.”
MSAS executed courses in the specialty areas of aircraft interdiction, aircraft maintenance, base defense and dog handling. MTT executed more than 250 combined hours of instructions with 88 SVA members.
“MSAS teams are uniquely capable of teaching in the host country’s native language. We can dynamically tailor Air Mobility Command’s approved course material to better suit the needs of the partner nation, but most of all it enables us to better meet our assigned military objective(s),” DeRuyter said.
MTT instructors provided training, assessments and critical observations which resulted in key recommendations to our partner nation. For example, Master Sgt. Alejandro Medina, MTT aircraft maintenance instructor, was able to assist in the validation of over $250,000 in B200 Super King Air aircraft repairs through an already established relationship with the Central American Beechcraft representative. His actions not only saved valuable time and resources, but enabled the aircraft to be returned to fully operational ahead of schedule.
Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Wilson, lead security forces instructor, assisted by Staff Sgt. Joseph Elizondo, identified critical differences in United States and Costa Rican laws which allowed them to adapt their training to better suit the SVA’s needs. According to Tech. Sgt. Andres Tovar, a security forces airman assigned to the 824th Base Defense Squadron out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, the security forces team was able to further SVA’s learning standards and objectives to improve the dog and handler relationships.
“The men and women of the SVA are true professionals and were well prepared for the tasks ahead. The entire MTT was a huge success, consisting of bi-directional learning from all involved,” said Master Sgt. Brandon Van Walraven, MTT team sergeant.
The 571st MSAS is a language enabled group of men and women who assess, advise, and assist Latin American and Caribbean countries to enhance their airpower capabilities. This team of air advisors assists the U.S. Air Force's enduring building partner capacity mission. Each successive engagement assists to achieve freedom, stability and prosperity in the region, and contributes to U.S. Southern Command’s joint intermediate military objectives.