Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Johny Lucas
Aviator’s Day is a special date celebrated in Brazil on October 23, chosen in honor of the first flight made in 1906 by Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont, the Father of Aviation. The feat of the Patron of Brazilian Aeronautics marked the beginning of the history of world aviation.
As well as celebrating Aviator’s Day, this is also the day of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). Founded in 1941, the FAB’s mission is to maintain the sovereignty of Brazilian airspace and integrate the national territory, with a view to defending the country.
Over the years, the FAB has played a key role in various operations, such as search and rescue, combating drug trafficking, transporting troops and humanitarian aid. It has also invested in technology and research for the development of national aviation.
In this context, it is important to recognize and value the work of the military personnel who are involved in various actions, contributing on a daily basis to defending, controlling and integrating Brazilian airspace. Lieutenant Colonel Bruno Américo Pereira and Lieutenant Gabriela Ariana Fernandes do Couto Lettieri are among the many aviators who help fulfill the mission of the Brazilian Air Force.
Currently serving as Commander of the First Troop Transport Group (1st GTT) – Zeus Squadron, a unit based in Anápolis (GO), Lieutenant Colonel Américo points out that he has always had a great desire to serve his country. “In 1997, feeling a strong sense of duty and patriotism, I took the entrance exam to the Air Cadet Preparatory School (EPCAR), seeking to serve Brazil through the Air Force. A career in the FAB involves challenging missions and this attracted me to seek out this unique experience. Thus, a deep passion for flying became my career,” he said.
The airman is witnessing a remarkable phase of evolution and accelerated innovation at the head of the Zeus Squadron: “I have the honor and great responsibility of leading a team of dedicated professionals, with the mission of not only accompanying, but leading the transformations of this new century, reaching ever more distant horizons. So, as I lead this group towards a promising future, my commitment is to guide with wisdom and vision, raising the name of the FAB to ever higher heights and, together, writing a story of overcoming and success, in which the sky is just our starting point,” he said.
Born in Pirassununga (SP), Lieutenant Aviator Gabriela, from the Third Squadron of the Seventh Aviation Group (3°/7° GAV) – Neptune Squadron, located in Belém (PA), says that her desire to become an Air Force pilot arose at the age of 19. “Although I was born in the city of the Air Force Academy, it wasn’t common to see female pilots at that time. There were few military women. The courage came later, when I got it into my head that this was a goal that could be achieved,” she said.
The aviator says that what sets the Neptune squadron apart is the breadth of its missions. “We can carry out maritime patrols or search missions at sea and on land, reconnaissance and advanced air control. This year, I had the opportunity to take part in Operation Yanomami and it was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had in the FAB. I feel that I took part in something real and enriching, both in terms of professional experience and the purpose of the mission,” he recalled.
Photos: Personal collection – *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***