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    Colombian led exercise Ángel de los Andes comes to an end

    Colombian led exercise Ángel de los Andes comes to a close

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Kenneth New | U.S. Air Force personnel stand in formation at the closing ceremony during the...... read more read more

    RIONEGRO, Colombia -- Colombian led exercise Ángel de los Andes has concluded after two weeks of simulated humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response in multiple locations throughout Colombia.

    U.S. personnel trained side-by-side with forces from Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Chile and Honduras. During the training they covered earthquake and tsunami scenarios, flying 170 training sorties over 175.5 hours, transported 172,000 pounds of cargo, over 1,600 personnel and conducting aeromedical evacuation for 95 simulated patients.

    “This exercise offers us an opportunity to work together in a simulated crisis to build standards and interoperability so that when a real crisis comes we can quickly come to the aid of a nation in need,” said 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, Maj. Gen. Barry Cornish. “I’m grateful to Colombia for hosting this exercise; the training has been fantastic and our partnership has been strong”

    Ángel de los Andes has been held three times since 2015 as a way to build the partnership between nations within the western hemisphere. This year however, it was merged with Cooperación VII, a System of Cooperation among American Air Forces (SICOFAA) exercise.

    “These exercises are one in the same; it’s Ángel de los Andes and it’s Cooperación VII, which is the SICOFAA piece of the exercise. It’s a primary search and rescue exercise for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It’s the largest exercise we (SICOFAA) have done to date,” explained SICOFAA Secretary General, U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Ingersoll. “Within our organization we have a telecommunications network called SITFAA (System of Information and Telecommunications among American Air Forces) that allows us to communicate directly with each liaison officer in each country's air force. That capability is being exercised here in real time using real aircraft and real personnel.”

    This year’s Ángel de los Andes has also seen the introduction of many innovative systems all with a purpose of enhancing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

    This includes AERONet, a U.S. Air Force created network of systems and equipment that provides real-time force tracking, command and control and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) capabilities, enabling the constant connectivity critical to search and rescue interoperability when conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations alongside our partners in the Americas.

    Operators on the ground use mobile devices to link rescue personnel. AERONet-enabled aircraft and command and control elements improve speed and accuracy in search and rescue missions and, ultimately, save lives. These systems are compact and mobile, allowing for rapid installation and deployment onto aircraft that have been outfitted with AERONet antennas and wiring.

    This also contributed to the first ever in-person space cell in support of a major multi-national humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise consisting of U.S., Colombian, Peruvian, Chilean, Ecuadorian, and Bolivian personnel.

    Fundamentally, the combination of like minded forces, gathering for the purpose of building partnerships and interoperability with one another, made this exercise successful.

    “Thank you to our friends on the continent and to the observer states who made this combined effort possible on a real scale.”, Colombian Air Force Commander, Gen. Ramsés Rueda Rueda said. “Our peoples should be proud of this initiative and of the effort we are making, because we are preparing and standardizing ourselves to overcome any challenge, as united allies.”

    There were more than 740 participants and 15 airframes from six nations that participated in this year's exercise, with eight additional countries observing, making it the most diverse and largest contingent of personnel in Ángel de los Andes’ history. This exercise is held bi-annually with the next one scheduled for 2023.



    Date Taken: 09.09.2021
    Date Posted: 09.14.2021 18:37
    Story ID: 405260
    Location: RIONEGRO, CO 

    Web Views: 363
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