Mobilization. Flexibility. Prompt response. These are the weapons used by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in Operation Bahia. As soon as it was activated, on February 2, the FAB enlisted its transport squadrons in the mission to support the government of Bahia in response to a strike by police officers in the state.
That same night, a KC-137 (Boeing 707) airplane from the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Transport Group (2nd/2nd GT), took off from Rio de Janeiro heading for Brasilia, where 150 National Force personnel came onboard and were taken to Salvador.
A second 2nd/2nd GT airplane took off on February 3 from Galeão Air Base, transporting 150 Military personnel from the Army Paratroop Brigade.
“For this mission, we quickly enlisted six pilots and 20 crew members, not counting the support and maintenance personnel. Thanks to the dedication of our Military personnel, we were able to overcome the breakdowns that occurred, without any harm to the missions. We showed that we are always ready to meet the demands of our country,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Paulo Sérgio dos Anjos Cunha, commander of the 2nd/2nd GT.
The same day, a C-105 Amazonas airplane from the 1st Squadron, 15th Aviation Group (1st/15th GAv), took off from Campo Grande Air Base (in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul), carrying 50 National Force police officers.
During the night, two more flights, each carrying 150 Army personnel, left Recife for Salvador. In less than 24 hours, the Air Force had already transported over 650 personnel to assist in the conflicts of the Bahian state capital.
“The FAB has almost concluded carrying out all the requested flights, within the established time frame, and we are also keeping our airplanes available for any new activations. We are always ready to assist the Brazilian population. This is our mission,” stated Colonel Marcelo Mendes Ribeiro, head of flight planning for the Air Operations General Command (COMGAR).