NY National Guard deploying Airmen to train with Brazilian Air Force

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An HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter from the New York Air National Guard’s106th Rescue Wing is loaded into a C-17 Globemaster from the 105th Air Wing to depart to Texas in support of Hurricane Harvey rescue and relief efforts at Francis S. Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach, New York August 26, 2017. 1 HC-130, 3 HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopters and 104 Airmen from the New York Air Guard deployed to Fort Hood Texas to support the Texas National Guard in support of Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by A1C Daniel H. Farrell)

LATHAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Airmen from the New York National Guard will soon be training in South America.

The New York Air National Guard is sending 80 of its Airmen to Brazil to take part in a week-long training with the Brazilian Air Force. Airmen based in Newburgh, Westhampton Beach and Niagara Falls will depart on August 19.

This training exercise, called Operation Tapio, will allow Airmen to train, while strengthening a relationship with Brazil. Operation Tapio has been conducted by the Brazilian Air Force since 2018. According to the guard, this two-week deployment is being conducted through a training partnership formalized in March 2019 with the Brazilian Military and the New York National Guard.

“Since New York was selected for a formal partnership with Brazil in 2019, we have built an outstanding relationship with the Brazilian military,” New York Adjutant General Major General Ray Shields said in a press release. “Training with the Brazilian Air Force is a tremendous opportunity for the New York National Guard. Our Airmen will get great hands on training, learn how to work with an allied military, and at the same time help develop enduring links between the armed forces of Brazil and the United States.”

“Opportunities like Operation Tapio are what make these state partnerships come alive and worthwhile, and we are thrilled to play an active role supporting our State and Nation’s bid to extend the hand of friendship, while strengthening this strategic partnership,” Lt. Col. Ryan Dannemann added.

Operation Tapio postulates an irregular military force operating within Brazil against the government. The New York Airmen will participate by conducting Combat Search and Rescue missions in conjuction with Brazilian aircraft. They will fly simulated rescue and casualty evacuation missions while escorted by Brazilian aircraft and armed helicopters.

Ahead of this training, the New York National Guard will deploy two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base on Long Island. Accorindg to the NY National Guard, these HH-60G’s are employed to recover Airmen forced down behind enemy lines, or to evacuate casualties.

Both the aircraft and Airmen from the National Guard will be transported to Brazil by C-17’s flown by the 105th Airlift Wing, which is based in Newburgh. All 80 Airmen are expected to return to New York on August 29, 2021.

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