Sunday, October 28, 2012

Air Force Training, Texas Style

Deep in the heart of Texas
A small group of FACH warplanes, pilots and support personnel spent a week training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Three F-16 Block 50 fighter jets flew for exercises with a unit of the Texas Air National Guard. The F-16s flew nonstop from their base in Iquique, refueling in midair with a KC-135 tanker. This is not the first time FACH pilots train with the U.S. Air Force. The two air forces have a long relationship and they share some doctrine and tactics. In fact, Texas-based military personnel visited FACH facilities in June. Mutlinational exercises are valuable because they expose pilots to fresh challenges. It's sort of like scrimmaging with another football team, rather than your own squad. Chile hosts an annual fighter exercise, called Salitre, with several air forces. Crews from Argentina, Brazil, the U.S., France, Uruguay, Canada and Colombia are expected at this year's meet, scheduled for November at the Cerro Moreno air base near Antofagasta.

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