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    NY Air Guard shares information on RPAs, space operations and cyberwar with Brazilian officers

    Brazilian Air Force members visit New York Air Guard

    Photo By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney | New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Eric Wintersteen, a crew chief assigned to the...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    ROME, New York--The New York Air National Guard hosted the commander of Brazil’s Aerospace Operations Command, heading a nine-person Brazilian Air Force delegation, during a week-long engagement focused on space operations, remotely piloted aircraft and cybersecurity.

    General Heraldo Luiz Rodrigues and his team visited New York Air National Guard units which specialize in these functions, along with New York National Guard headquarters and the New York National Guard security mission in New York City.

    The visit, from June 6 to 10, was organized through the National Guard State Partnership Program. New York initialed a partnership with South America’s largest nation in 2019.

    “We knew what they were interested in,” said Brig. Gen. Denise Donnell, the commander of the New York Air National Guard, “So we made sure we married them up with what we had that they were looking for.”

    Rodrigues commands Brazil’s Aerospace Operations Command, known by the Portuguese acronym COMAE.

    The organization, created in 2017 as part of the Brazilian Air Force, is responsible for planning, coordinating and controlling the country's air and space operations, including satellites and launch facilities, telescopes and international cooperation with NASA. The Brazilian Space Agency, army and navy are also part of the joint command.

    With 6,000 Guard Airmen, five flying wings and the Eastern Air Defense Sector, New York’s Air Guard is the largest in the country, so there are a lot of capabilities available to discuss, Donnell said.

    This includes the specialties the Brazilians want to learn more about.
    The Brazilian team spent a day discussing space operations with the Guard Airmen of the 222nd Command and Control Squadron, which is headquartered in Rome, New York.

    The “Triple Duece” provides trained personnel to provide surge and contingency support to the National Reconnaissance Office Operations Center, according to Col. Timothy Stanley, the squadron commander.

    That agency runs the United States’ network of surveillance and reconnaissance satellites.

    The 80 Airmen also work with the Space Force, in the areas of space battle management and space domain awareness, Stanley said.

    This translates into assisting in the operations, protection, and defense of American space systems, as well as knowing where each spacecraft is in relation to others and orbiting debris, he explained.

    His team discussed space management command and control, as well as using commercial satellites for military purposes with the Brazilians, Stanely said.

    The 222nd is co-located with the Air Force Research Laboratory, which researches space technologies for the Air Force. The Brazilians spoke with lab officials about the possibilities of partnering in some of the research the lab is considering, he said.

    The Brazilian team also visited the Eastern Air Defense Sector, known as EADS, also in Rome.

    EADS is staffed by New York Air Guardsmen and is responsible for air defense of the United States east of the Mississippi. Rodrigues’ command is responsible for monitoring Brazil’s airspace, and they were briefed on EADS network systems and cyber defense.

    “Being able to share operational knowledge with our Brazilian counterparts was personally rewarding for our Armen,” said Col. Paul Bishop, the EADS commander.

    The Brazilians also visited the 174th Attack Wing, based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, which has operated the MQ-9 Reaper remotely operated aircraft since 2010.

    The 174th trains MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators for the total Air Force as well as maintenance personnel, along with conducting MQ-9 operations for combatant commanders around the world.

    The wing incorporates an air operations unit and cyberwarfare specialists, so the Brazilians learned about those capabilities as well, Donnell said.
    The Brazilian group spent time with Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York and his command team for a better understanding of National Guard domestic operations roles.

    In Brazil, the active air force and army play the role in domestic operations that the National Guard perform in the United States, Rodrigues explained through a translator, so this information is valuable.
    The visit finished up with a firsthand look at the New York Naval Militia watercraft security efforts in New York harbor, highlighting the Guard’s support to civil authorities.

    The New York Naval Militia, a force made up of retired Navy and Marine Corps members and those who serve concurrently in the sea service federal reserve forces, including the Coast Guard, maintains patrol boats which patrol New York harbors in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard.
    The Brazilian team of senior officers and NCOs joined one of the patrol boats during the survey.

    The trip to New York met all his expectations, Rodrigues said through a translator. They got the answers to the question they had about how the U.S. Air Force conducts unmanned air, space, and cyber operations, he said.
    The Brazilian military, he said, wants to continue the partner relationship with the New York National Guard because it has been very valuable.
    The New York National Guard also benefits from the relationship, Donnell said.

    New York Air Guard units took part in Operation Tapia, an annual Brazilian search and rescue exercise, which provides valuable experience in deploying people and aircraft and working with another military, and will do so again, Donnell said.
    And New York Guardsmen have learned new techniques in search and rescue and chemical and biological response efforts from Brazilian counterparts, Donnell added.

    Just as importantly, the partnership program allows the New York National Guard to play a key role in developing military relationships with an important South American country, she emphasized.

    “We have a chance to support Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau objectives in the southern hemisphere,” Donnell said.


    Date Taken: 06.15.2022
    Date Posted: 06.15.2022 10:06
    Story ID: 423014
    Location: ROME, NEW YORK, US

    Web Views: 150
    Downloads: 1