U.S., Honduran Air Forces kick-off BPC mission with opening ceremony

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lesley Waters
  • 615th Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs
U.S. and Honduran airmen participated in a Jan. 25 ceremony kicking off the start of a mission designed to enhance military-to-military relations between the two nations.

The U.S. Airmen, representing 15 Air Force specialties, will work side-by-side with Honduran Air Force members in developing the seven core competencies of air base defense, air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, aircrew survival, communications, generator maintenance and safety.

Approximately 20 members of the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and two members of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, from Lackland AFB, Texas, arrived here Jan. 23 as part of month-long mission to build partner capacity. The mission is designed to promote regional stability by fostering key relationships and enhancing partner nation capabilities. In addition, the 571st MSAS' mission supports 12th Air Force's continued engagements in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The ceremony, which took place at the Col. Hernán Acosta Mejia Air Base facilities here, opened with remarks from U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, the 12th Air Force commander, and Honduran Brig. Gen. Ruiz Pastor Landa Dubón, the Honduran Air Force commanding general.

"Through the MSAS deployment time, the U.S. and Honduran Air Forces will work together, sharing ideas and building friendships, all through the lens of our common quest for innovation and our shared passion for flight," Rand said. "The time spent together over the next several weeks will be a springboard for discussions about air mobility, leading our two air forces to find collaborative solutions to regional challenges."

Following Rand's remarks, the Honduran Air Force commanding general welcomed the U.S. Air Force here and reiterated that both countries will benefit from the forum for exchange of ideas the deployment provides.

"It is with much respect and admiration that we appreciate the support provided by the U.S. Air Force," Dubón said. "This is because our air force was initially led by three American aviators in the decades of the 1930s and 1940s. This shows a long-standing interaction between our two nations."

The 571st MSAS Airmen will participate in a mutually beneficial forum for the exchange of ideas between U.S. and Honduran Airmen via interactive classroom sessions and hands-on training at the base and surrounding areas, officials said.

"When a crisis or contingency operation occurs in the future, we will be more prepared to respond together," Rand said. "For example, if a natural disaster occurs, our two air forces will already have an understanding of one another's strengths and capabilities as well as a deep camaraderie based on our respect for each other."

Rand concluded his remarks by saying this is not the first nor will it be the last time the U.S. and Honduran Air Forces work together.