Colombian Air Force leads multinational airdrop mission
By Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
/ Published August 09, 2017
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AFNS) -- The Colombian Air Force conducted a multinational personnel airdrop mission from their Casa 295 aircraft during Exercise Mobility Guardian Aug. 6, 2017.
The French and Pakistani Air Forces participated in the mission which the Colombians planned, led and executed with support from the U.S. Air Force.
“The U.S. planning cell provided us with a lot of information, like the route and mission,” said Colombian Air Force Maj. Jesus Cortes, the mission planner. “We also gathered information for an international jump and were able to brief our crews to accomplish the mission.”
Nineteen multinational service members from Colombia, France and Pakistan jumped out of the Casa 295 onto their drop zone at Larson, Washington.
“What we saw today was everything that was scheduled, everything that was planned, and everything was (carried out) just like it was briefed, we appreciate that,” said French air force Chief Adjutant Liliam Lagasse.
Columbian leadership designated two meetings to provide ample time for effective communication and jumpers to prepare their gear. Communication is a critical aspect for successful airdrop operations when dealing with different languages.
“In the plane we spoke with many hand languages,” Lagasse said. “We were speaking with signals with our hands (and body). I think maybe we will try to do that in France.”
According to a Colombian Air Force Mobility Guardian informational booklet, the Colombian Air Force is shifting its mission towards increasing their participation in the global context, projecting its capabilities through allied interoperability and joint operations.
“This exercise demonstrates the success of years of partnership between the U.S and Colombia,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Mangan, the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) strategic plans and programs deputy director. “Their performance was absolutely superb, especially considering the fact that they planned, led, and executed a multinational jump. This is positive proof that Colombia is a security exporter and a first-rate strategic partner for the U.S.”
Mobility Guardian is an Air Mobility Command led exercise that is designed to enhance the capabilities of mobility Airmen by preparing them to succeed in the dynamic threat environments, while strengthening partnerships, discovery, learning and improving together as an integrated team.