Uruguayan Air Force Evaluates its Capabilities on Brazilian Border

The Uruguayan Air Force's Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) carries out its annual training plan.
Carlos Maggi/Diálogo | 1 December 2017

FAU’s Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) trained on a national route in eastern Uruguay to evaluate its operational and logistical support capabilities. (Photo: Uruguayan Air Force)

In accordance with its annual training plan, on November 6th–10th, Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) of the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU, per its Spanish acronym) deployed three A-37B aircraft, along with pilots, technicians, military police, and support assets to the department of Rocha, along the Brazilian border. The operation’s goal—on aerodromes and runways far from air bases—was to evaluate the flight squadrons’ capacities at the crew's operational level and its logistical support in a different environment.

These deployments allow pilots and technicians to resolve situations away from their home base with ingenuity and practicality. (Photo: Uruguayan Air Force)

This type of training requires the presence of different specialists, who make the flight missions possible. FAU routinely deploys squadrons for evaluation operations in aerodromes and runways at different locations around the country. This operation took place on a Uruguayan route with an area large enough for aircraft to descend and ascend.

“The basic idea of this deployment is to operate in a rarely-used aerodrome, where we have few mechanics, to allow pilots and technicians to solve situations with ingenuity, which would be easier with the resources on our base,” FAU Major Richard Bruno, commander of the Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter), told Diálogo. “It’s also important to operate in areas of the country we are not very used to, such as the east, where attacks on land targets are simulated, along with interception training with radar in conjunction with the air operations center.”

With these operations, FAU seeks to increase the number of missions in the country's eastern zone to deter illicit or irregular flights from entering the area. “As long as Air Force planes fly in the area, there is going to be a deterrent effect, just like a police patrol generates on the street; the effect is going to be the same,” Maj. Bruno said.

Although the Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) executed the deployment, the mission involved other units from the force. In addition to three A-37B Dragonfly combat aircraft, a Cessna U-206H was mobilized for liaison flights, a Bell UH-1H helicopter supported search-and-rescue missions, and a C-212 Aviocar transferred personnel. Throughout the year, missions with similar characteristics are conducted in western Uruguay, which shares a border with Argentina.

“It’s common throughout the year for FAU to deploy its different units far from its bases and operate with only the bare minimum,” explained FAU Colonel Hugo Parentini, commander of Air Brigade No. 2. “That’s the case for Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter). In November it deployed on the Route Nine runway to conduct airspace control missions and missions to preserve national sovereignty—one of the Uruguayan Air Force's main missions is to collaborate with the other forces like the Army and the Navy on defense,” he added. These deployments are not based on any threat scenario against the country. They also bring the FAU assets closer to civilian populations, who have the opportunity to see different aircraft in operation.

Authorities from FAU and the Ministry of National Defense are assessing the potential upgrade of the combat aircraft fleet. In 2017, A-58 Pucará aircraft were deactivated due to a lack of spare parts. These aircraft were assigned to Air Squadron No. 1 (Attack) since 1981. Until new equipment can be incorporated, airspace defense is under Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter)—which counts 12 U.S.-made A-37B Dragonfly—and the Advanced Flight Squadron, which has five Pilatus PC-7U Turbo Trainers.

The Uruguayan Air Force seeks to increase the number of missions in eastern Uruguay to deter illicit or irregular flights in the area. (Photo: Uruguayan Air Force)

In accordance with its annual training plan, on November 6th–10th, Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) of the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU, per its Spanish acronym) deployed three A-37B aircraft, along with pilots, technicians, military police, and support assets to the department of Rocha, along the Brazilian border. The operation’s goal—on aerodromes and runways far from air bases—was to evaluate the flight squadrons’ capacities at the crew's operational level and its logistical support in a different environment.

This type of training requires the presence of different specialists, who make the flight missions possible. FAU routinely deploys squadrons for evaluation operations in aerodromes and runways at different locations around the country. This operation took place on a Uruguayan route with an area large enough for aircraft to descend and ascend.

“The basic idea of this deployment is to operate in a rarely-used aerodrome, where we have few mechanics, to allow pilots and technicians to solve situations with ingenuity, which would be easier with the resources on our base,” FAU Major Richard Bruno, commander of the Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter), told Diálogo. “It’s also important to operate in areas of the country we are not very used to, such as the east, where attacks on land targets are simulated, along with interception training with radar in conjunction with the air operations center.”

With these operations, FAU seeks to increase the number of missions in the country's eastern zone to deter illicit or irregular flights from entering the area. “As long as Air Force planes fly in the area, there is going to be a deterrent effect, just like a police patrol generates on the street; the effect is going to be the same,” Maj. Bruno said.

Although the Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter) executed the deployment, the mission involved other units from the force. In addition to three A-37B Dragonfly combat aircraft, a Cessna U-206H was mobilized for liaison flights, a Bell UH-1H helicopter supported search-and-rescue missions, and a C-212 Aviocar transferred personnel. Throughout the year, missions with similar characteristics are conducted in western Uruguay, which shares a border with Argentina.

“It’s common throughout the year for FAU to deploy its different units far from its bases and operate with only the bare minimum,” explained FAU Colonel Hugo Parentini, commander of Air Brigade No. 2. “That’s the case for Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter). In November it deployed on the Route Nine runway to conduct airspace control missions and missions to preserve national sovereignty—one of the Uruguayan Air Force's main missions is to collaborate with the other forces like the Army and the Navy on defense,” he added. These deployments are not based on any threat scenario against the country. They also bring the FAU assets closer to civilian populations, who have the opportunity to see different aircraft in operation.

Authorities from FAU and the Ministry of National Defense are assessing the potential upgrade of the combat aircraft fleet. In 2017, A-58 Pucará aircraft were deactivated due to a lack of spare parts. These aircraft were assigned to Air Squadron No. 1 (Attack) since 1981. Until new equipment can be incorporated, airspace defense is under Air Squadron No. 2 (Fighter)—which counts 12 U.S.-made A-37B Dragonfly—and the Advanced Flight Squadron, which has five Pilatus PC-7U Turbo Trainers.

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