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Chilean, US Air Forces share helicopter expertise

By Tech. Sgt. Angela Ruiz 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs

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DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The 55th Rescue Squadron hosted an H-60 Subject Matter Expert Exchange between members of the U.S. Air Force and the Chilean Air Force Aug 5-9, 2019.

This is the second H-60 SMEE between the two Air Forces this year. Earlier this year, four U.S. Airmen traveled to Santiago, Chile to share information on the Chilean MH-60M Black Hawk helicopters continuous maintenance and operations.

The MH-60M Black Hawk is a recent addition to the Chilean Air Force, who have been operating the helicopter since September 2018.  

“It’s nice to speak with people that have a lot of experience working with the [H-60] helicopter in a battlefield,” said Chilean Air Force Maj. Javier Del Rio. “At times we encounter issues while flying that are difficult to solve, so it’s beneficial for us to learn from someone who has experienced that type of flight issue already and can share how they resolved it.”

During this SMEE, two Chilean MH-60 pilots flew aboard an HH-60G Pave Hawk for an orientation flight, toured the 55th RQS and maintenance facilities. They also spoke with U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk pilots, maintenance and support technicians on a variety of subjects to include: Night Vison Goggles, training, air-to-air refueling and safety standards.   

“The more we work with our partners now, the better it’s going to pay off if we ever become operational with them,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Risse 55th RQS director of staff, HH-60G pilot. “This exchange gave me confidence in their ability to operate with us in the future, if we were to ever do a joint or combine operation together.”


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