MSAS Airmen increase Belize Defense Force aviation capability

By Tech Sgt. Liliana Moreno 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs


A mobile training team of eight Airmen assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron recently deployed to the Belize Defense Force Air Wing in Ladyville, Belize, July 12-29.

The MSAS plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining relations with strategic partner nations. This engagement was vital in developing greater aviation capacity and the ability to provide mutual support during air mobility operations.

The team’s mission was to provide several courses of instruction such as helicopter maintenance, helicopter operations, aircrew flight equipment, fuels and emergency management supporting the safe operations of the BDF-AW UH-1 Huey helicopters. As well as promoting interoperability with a number of agencies for disaster preparedness and disaster relief.

“We are supporting the BDF-AW during a very interesting time as they are building their aviation enterprise by use of the two new UH-1 Huey helicopters,” said Capt. Kristofer Figueroa, mobile training team mission commander assigned to the 571st MSAS.

Air Advisors are specifically trained and educated to apply aviation expertise to assess, educate, advice, and assist foreign personnel in the development and application of their aviation resources to meet their national needs in support of U.S. interests.

The team also had the opportunity to provide support to a local children’s home in Belize.  They gathered over $2,000 in donations which included toys, clothes and personal hygiene items and delivered them to the children’s home.

“It warms my heart to put a smile on a child’s face, even if for a brief moment,” Figueroa said.  “We were able to spend time with them and improve their quality of life through the help of generous donations made by U.S. non-profit organizations and fellow Airmen.”

According to Master Sgt. Jose Cruz, 571st MSAS loadmaster senior air advisor, the training that was provided to the BDF-AW was essential in developing their aviation capability.

“We’re uniquely poised to support them in enhancing their capabilities,” said Figueroa.  “Their eager reception to our efforts in providing training, observations and recommendations is commendable.”