Exercise involved military personnel from the Navy and Army, and the United States Air Force (USAF)
Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Letícia Faria and Major Oliveira Lima
For almost 20 days – from August 16 to September 3 – more than 800 military personnel from the Brazilian Army, the Brazilian Navy and the Brazilian Air Force, in addition to approximately 30 aircraft, Air Units and Infantry Units, were involved in Joint Exercise (EXCON) Tápio 2022.
The stage for the activities was the Campo Grande Air Base (BACG), in Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), starting point for missions such as Attack, NVG (Night Vision Goggles), Aerospace Reconnaissance, Airborne Infiltration, Combat Search and Rescue, Flight Refueling, Close Air Support, Parachute and Cargo Launch, Laser Guided Bombing, Aeromedical Evacuation, among others.
EXCON Tápio, which is in its fifth edition, ends with more than 890 flight hours and 320 landings. The Exercise is considered one of the largest war training exercises promoted by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and has as its purpose the maturing and doctrinal development of joint tactics, besides the technical training of Military Units of the Preparatory Command (COMPREP), of the Brazilian Navy, of the Brazilian Army and of partner countries, which this year included the participation of 100 military personnel from the United States Air Force (USAF). All this aiming at contributing to world order and peace and also international commitments, guaranteeing sovereignty, territorial integrity and patrimonial defense, as well as humanitarian aid and the mitigation of disasters effects.
EXCON Tápio 2022 Director and BACG Commander, Air Brigadier Clauco Fernando Vieira Rossetto, emphasized that the key word of the exercise was interoperability. “We had the participation of the three Brazilian Forces and the American one, carrying out an essential exercise both for our sovereignty and for training actions, especially Air Force ones,” commented the General Officer.
Phase 1 and 2 of EXCON Tápio 2022
In the first phase, technical instructions, workshops, and a practical course on Tactical Pre-Hospital Care (APHT) were carried out, as well as training for rescue men. The second phase, on the other hand, counted on the employment of air and land means in Air Force actions.
The two phases of EXCON Tápio 2022 involved military personnel of various specialties, as well as aircraft from the Fighter Aviation, such as the A-1 AMX and the A-29 Super Tucano; Transport, such as the KC-130 Hercules, the C-105 Amazonas, and the C-98 Caravan; Reconnaissance, such as the E-99 and the R-99; and the Rotary Wings, such as the H-36 Caracal and the H-60L Black Hawk.
“The Tápio Exercise comes to an end full of success. We had a high availability of logistics and full compliance with the training objectives proposed by the Preparatory Command. And most importantly, an enormous number of lessons learned and applications of Air Force actions in the irregular, complex and dynamic warfare scenario to which the participants were submitted,” evaluates the exercise’s Co-Director, Aviator Lieutenant Colonel Ulysses Nepomuceno Guimarães.
EXCON Tápio also aims to promote mutual understanding, trust and interoperability among the participants, converging efforts to increase the capacity of the Brazilian Armed Forces. In this sense, the Commander of the 1st Squadron of the Tenth Aviation Group (1°/10° GAv) – Centaur Squadron, Lieutenant-Colonel Eduardo Snidarsis de Vasconcellos considered the participation in the Exercise fruitful. “It is a moment when we can train some Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) that we don’t train at headquarters. It is also an opportunity for interaction among the other Forces, such as the direct action event, in which A-1 aircraft provided support for a military action of Brazilian Army commandos, to neutralize threats in hostile territory. These are events in which we only have the opportunity to train here”, he points out.
The Liaison Officer of the Special Operations Command of the Brazilian Army (EB), Infantry Major Gustavo, who participated in Tápio, spoke about the importance of the interoperability of this mission. “For the Brazilian Army people, especially interoperability, there is the integration between the troops, especially the EB Special Operations troops with the Air Force and Navy troops, too, so that, for us, was the maintenance of the Advanced Air Guidance (AAG) capabilities and the TTPs of direct actions and in the execution of the assembly of an unsupported evasion to the pilots shot down in combat, the context of our exercise,” he comments.
The member of the Joint Exercise Tápio 2022, Infantry Major Igor Duarte Fernandes, guarantees that for the Infantry cadre, the activities were executed and fulfilled within the general planning. “Observing what we can gather as a result, we evolved a little more than last year, not only in the final grade of those evaluated, but also in the type of scenario that was applied so that they could execute, such as convoy escort, a new practice in the exercise and that here, joining close air support squadrons from all over Brazil, our Advanced Air Guides were able to guide these aircraft, hear new ideas from pilots, and understand much better the capabilities of the aircraft,” he concludes.
With the end of another edition of EXCON Tápio, COMPREP, which coordinates the entire operation, already starts the preparations for 2023, observing the actions taken this year, through the elaboration of a report, in which the demands will be presented to the General Officers.
EXCON Tápio has been taking place since 2018 and, for the second time, military personnel from the United States Air Force (USAF) participated in the training. This year, it was members of the US National Guard from New York and Idaho (NYANG and IDANG). They served in the training with equipment and personnel.
The Commander of the New York Air National Guard, Brigadier General Denise Donnel, commented about participating in EXCON. “This is our second year here in Brazil that we have participated in Exercise Tápio, and it is a huge growth in our partnership between Brazil and the United States. As New Yorkers, we are proud to participate in this Exercise, learning from our Brazilian friends and hopefully sharing some of our knowledge with you,” said the General Officer.
And the Director of the Joint Staff of the New York National Guard, Brigadier General Isabel Smith, also highlighted the presence in Brazil. “I think Exercise Tapio presents a great opportunity for integration between the United States and Brazil in many ways. We have been partners with Brazil since 2019 and we already have more than 50 participations in Joint Operations that we have conducted, despite COVID. And during this Exercise, we were able to meet the Minister of Defense,” he concludes.
Video: Sergeant Ronan / CECOMSAER – Photos: Sergeant Bianca Viol and Sergeant Viegas / CECOMSAER
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress team ***