USAF team trains Chilean Air Force on aircraft recovery

19 June 2018 (Last Updated June 19th, 2018 12:04)

The US Air Force (USAF) Air Combat Command’s Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) deployed a mobile training team (MTT) to Chile to carry out a crash-damaged disabled aircraft recovery course with the Chilean Air Force.

USAF team trains Chilean Air Force on aircraft recovery
Chilean airmen conduct an aircraft lift on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a crash-damaged disabled aircraft recovery course. Credit: US Air Force / Staff Sgt Angela Ruiz.

The US Air Force (USAF) Air Combat Command’s Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) deployed a mobile training team (MTT) to Chile to carry out a crash-damaged disabled aircraft recovery course with the Chilean Air Force.

The MTT comprises four crew chiefs from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona, Hill AFB in Utah, and Peterson AFB in Colorado, who have experience as aircraft crash team chiefs.

The training team first travelled from the US to the 3rd Aviation Group at Los Condores Air Force Base in Iquique, Chile, and then to the 5th Air Brigade Maintenance Group at Cerro Moreno Air Base in Antofagasta.

“The MTT has provided the Chilean Air Force with the basic principles of how to preserve the area surrounding an aircraft incident for investigation.”

USAF lieutenant colonel Hector L Gonzalez said: “I view the MTTs as a key tool in our security cooperation apparatus.

“By us being able to provide assistance in an area that they feel a need to improve, we’re building that partnership, that relationship.”

The training teams were requested and funded by the Chilean Air Force, said Gonzalez.

According to USAF master sergeant Michael Powell, the MTT has provided the Chilean Air Force with the basic principles of how to preserve the area surrounding an aircraft incident for investigation, in addition to recovering a damaged or disabled aircraft.

Chilean Air Force airmen were taught about aircraft recovery planning, personal protective equipment and recovery operation, followed by practical training.

The Chilean F-16 maintenance crew participated in the training, including chiefs, mechanics, technicians, maintenance officers, and quality assurance inspectors.