HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. , July 22, 2017 —
Brig. Gen. Enrique Amrein, Argentine air force chief of staff, joined Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly, 12th Air Force commander, for a tour of Holloman Air Force base and an opportunity to meet some of its outstanding Airmen.
The tour focused on Holloman’s remotely piloted aircraft training program, showing a brief walkthrough of what pilots, maintainers and sensor operators experience during their time here.
“In the Argentine air force we have chosen to start the development and production of our own RPAs,” said Amrein. “It is very important to us to perform this visit so that we can see how the U.S. Air Force operates its RPA enterprise.”
The RPA enterprise was not the sole reason for the visit.
“These visits are critical for our partners in Argentina and to prepare us to work together,” said Kelly. “If we are familiar with each other, our capabilities as partners will be that much more effective.”
Argentine and U.S. Air Forces seek opportunities to build relationships. For example, Argentine air force members will observe exercise Mobility Guardian – Air Mobility Command’s top exercise.
“Participation of the Argentine observers during this AMC exercise is marking not really a start, but more of a restart of the partnership that we used to have between our air forces,” said Amrein. “We hope that this will continue to develop into further cooperation between our countries.”
International relations make up a major part of U.S. military operations and has provided support during many campaigns. It is visits like these that can influence the relationships with other countries and how we work together.
“The fact that the Argentine air force contingent was invited as a counterpart speaks volumes of itself,” said Kelly. “There are over 70 nations each year that [Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, and Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force] look at to consider for these visits. They go through a lot of decisions and discussions about who they would like to invite and it boils down to where they see the greatest future partnerships.”
The tour for the Argentine contingent was immersive and provided a snapshot not only military operations, but into military culture as well.
“I want to reiterate how much of an honor it was for us to have been invited for this visit,” said Amrein. “It has been progressive and invaluable. We started in [Southern Command] gaining great information followed by a meeting with Gen. Goldfein. An amazing part of our visit was witnessing a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These are all things you can learn about by reading, but that is never going to achieve the same effect as visiting on site and gaining the experience.”