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News | April 9, 2020

Knowledge is Power: Air advisors continue to build partnerships with Peruvian Air Force

By Capt. Reuben Luoma-Overstreet 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A team of 14 members from the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron and leadership from the 621st Contingency Response Wing completed training February 18 through March 14 with the Peruvian Air Force, also known as FAP, at Callao Air Base in Lima, Perú.

The mobile training team’s mission included three weeks of instruction at Callao and covered three general areas: an introduction to aerial logistics and logistical management mindset, hazardous material management, and cargo loading. The course brought together FAP personnel from the tactical to the strategic level and included members from Air Group 8, Air Group 3, and the FAP’s logistics headquarters.

Técnico Primero Fredy Cruz Romero, a FAP student, said the course was instructive in the specifics it taught about handling cargo.

“This course helped me identify the need for regulations in the Peruvian Air Force on managing waste with the goal of avoiding environmental damage,” he said. “It also taught us the importance of careful hazardous material management, to include specific procedures for identification, security, transport and labeling.”

This type of success is what air advisors from the 571st MSAS seek to replicate every time they embark on an air advising mission. The squadron’s motto is “Saber es Poder,” or “Knowledge is Power,” and every Airmen is rigorously trained as both a teacher and a representative for building partnerships.

For Técnica Tercera Nathaly Isabel Melgar Lopez, a FAP student, the course provided some broader lessons.

“This training helped give us a culture of empowerment, because ‘Saber es Poder,’ and a commitment to serve our Peruvian Air Force with what we’ve learned,” she said.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt, James Garcia Arvelo, 571st MSAS supply senior air advisor, wrapped up the mission set and the success of the course at Callao Air Base.

“As an advisor, we are entrusted to represent the U.S. Air Force in foreign countries.  We export our knowledge, skills, and experience to influence and further develop partner nations so that we deepen our interoperability, which may be necessary at a moment’s notice,” he said. “As a teacher and interpreter on this MTT, my job is to be as clear and concise as possible — if I am not, the results could be fatal due to the sensitivity of handling and transporting hazardous materials.”

For U.S. Air Force Col. Doug Jackson, 621st CRW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Tony Jenkins, 621st CRW command chief, this was the first 571 MSAS MTT they experienced first-hand. 

“The mission was particularly valuable for Chief Jenkins and me because it enabled us to understand the magnitude of the challenges our air advisors face and overcome when they build capacity in partner nation,” Jackson said. “Our first-hard experience also provided us an even greater appreciation for the remarkable professionalism and capabilities of our teams.”

The 571st MSAS is a language enabled squadron of air advisors who assess, train, advise and assist Latin American and Caribbean partner nations in the development of their airpower capabilities as part of the U.S. Air Force’s and Air Mobility Command’s enduring building partner capacity mission. Each successive engagement supports Perú’s foundation of freedom, stability and prosperity in the region, and contributes to the U.S. Southern Command’s objective of strengthening partnerships and increasing interoperability.