Demonstrating responsiveness and cooperation with Air Forces, the Brazilian Air Force concludes its participation in the fourth edition of the Multinational Exercise Salitre, in Chile
Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Flávia Rocha and Major Oliveira Lima
In a fictitious conflict scenario, at the Cerro Moreno Air Base in Antofagasta, northern Chile, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) took part, from October 10 to 21, in the Salitre IV Multinational Combined Air Exercise, considered one of the largest air training exercises in South America.
The Head of the Brazilian delegation, Lieutenant Colonel Davi de Abreu, commented on the results of the training. “FAB ended its participation in Exercise Saltpeter 2022 with the satisfaction of duty done. We carried out more than 50 combat missions following all the safety protocols. Besides that, we counted on the support of our KC-390 Millennium aircraft, providing in-flight fueling in all missions,” he said.
“Another point to highlight was the excellent performance of our crews during the combined planning, demonstrating our high capacity for cooperation and interoperability with the other participating Air Forces,” added Lieutenant Colonel Davi.
KC-390 Millennium performs its first REVO in an international operation
Another key vector was the KC-390 Millennium, which performed its first in-flight refueling in an international mission. “The In-flight Refueling mission is of vital importance in sustaining air combat. It becomes more evident when dealing with a conflict simulation environment like the one trained during Exercise Salitre,” said the aircraft Commander, Major Flávio Diniz Pereira.
In the third phase of the combined air combat training called Live Exercise (LIVEX), the crews executed, during five days, the compound air missions, also called COMAO (Composite Air Operation), which involved squadrons in several simultaneous actions.
“Each COMAO has well-defined schedules and tactics for its execution. In this context, REVO guarantees a more flexible combat planning for the fighter aircraft. I can say that the KC-390 performed exceptionally well in this environment and its system proved to be extremely reliable throughout the exercise,” said Major Diniz.
In addition to REVO, the KC-390 Millennium is already qualified to perform missions of personnel launch, through the door and the ramp; material launch by CDS (Container Delivery System) and LVAD (Low Velocity Airdrop Delivery) methods; and Search and Rescue.
KC-30 mobilized and demobilized the Brazilian delegation
In its first mission to transport military personnel to participate in operational activities, the KC-30, the largest aircraft in the history of the Brazilian Air Force, mobilized 59 passengers and 18 tons of cargo from Rio de Janeiro (RJ) to the Cerro Moreno Air Base in Antofagasta.
Facing adverse weather and strong winds, the baptism flight lasted four hours and took place on Saturday morning (October 8), crossing part of the vast mountain range of the Andes to the Atacama region, the driest desert in the world.
The demobilization took place two weeks later, on Saturday night (10/22). With more favorable weather, the return flight of the Brazilian delegation, leaving from Cerro Moreno Air Base to Galeão Air Base, in Rio de Janeiro, took three hours.
Sergeant Ivy Amaral da Costa, from the Gordo Squadron, is part of the crew of the KC-390 Millennium aircraft as a Special Operator of the In-flight Refueling System. According to her, having the opportunity to be one of the crew members on the KC-390’s first international in-flight refueling mission is a source of great pride and an extremely valuable experience. “I was able to apply all the knowledge acquired during the preparation for the exercise as planned and share knowledge with the Air Forces involved in the operational exercise collaborating to the doctrinal enrichment of the function,” she said.
To keep the aircraft flying and all the planned activities occurring in the best possible way, the logistical support of the military of the area was crucial. Petty Officer Ciraldo Joaquim Sant’ana, from the Logistics Group of Santa Cruz Air Base (GLOG-SC), who works in hangar coordination, says that as an Aircraft Maintenance Specialist, the experience was very important.
“It was a moment for us to represent Brazil abroad, externalizing the learning from our training school. Besides, it is a pride of being Brazilian. It is very relevant to participate in a maneuver of this size with different cultures, with different ways of acting in aviation. Without a doubt, it adds values and, in an intrinsic way, each one takes this learning to their professional life”, emphasized Petty Officer Ciraldo.
On Wednesday (10/19), civil and military authorities from Chile, Brazil, and Argentina participated in a Vip Day, where they could see the activities up close.
On Saturday (10/15), also in the scope of the Salitre Exercise, an Open Day, or Open Gates, took place. About 1,500 people attended the event.
Exercise Salitre IV
The Salitre 2022 Multinational Exercise seeks the exchange of experiences and knowledge among its participants, besides strengthening the bonds of friendship and mutual cooperation among the human and material resources of the Air Forces of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, a delegation of the United States Space Force, Special Forces of the United States Air Force, and observers from Canada, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay.
This is the fourth time that the FAB is participating in the exercise, the last version of which was held eight years ago, in 2014. In this edition, the Brazilian delegation was made up of 75 military personnel and included the participation of six FAB F-5M fighters and one FAB Millennium KC-390, belonging to the First Fighter Aviation Group (1°GAVCA) – Jambock and Pif-Paf Squadrons; the First Squadron of the Fourteenth Aviation Group (1º/14th GAV) – Pampa Squadron; the First Troop Transport Group (1º GTT) – Zeus Squadron; and the First Squadron of the First Transport Group (1º/1st GT) – Gordo Squadron. In addition to the Air Units, military personnel from the Preparatory Command (COMPREP), the Logistics Group of the Santa Cruz Air Base (GLOG-SC), the Logistics Group of the Canoas Air Base (GLOG-CO) and the Air Force Social Communication Center (CECOMSAER) also participated in the maneuver.
Participating FAB Aviation Groups
1st Fighter Aviation Group (1st GAVCA) – Jambock and Pif-Paf Squadrons – is almost 79 years old. The Group was created on December 18, 1943 to act during World War II. During the period it operated in the skies over Italy, the 1st GAVCA performed numerous war missions. And, on April 22nd, 1945, it flew 44 missions with only 22 pilots, obtaining expressive results. For this reason, this date is celebrated as the Brazilian Fighter Aviation Day. The Group is based at Santa Cruz Air Base (BASC), in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), and acted in the Salitre Exercise with F-5M aircraft.
1º/14th GAV – The First Squadron of the Fourteenth Aviation Group (1º/14th GAV) – Pampa Squadron – completed 75 years and has its roots in the Third Aviation Regiment (3º RAV) of the Brazilian Army, in 1937, and was officially created on March 24, 1947. The “Quatorze”, as it is known, is based at the Canoas Air Base (BACO), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), and has as its mission the Brazilian air defense, acting together with the Second Integrated Center of Air Defense and Air Traffic Control (CINDACTA II) in the South region of Brazil. In the Salitre Exercise, it operated with F-5M aircraft.
1º GTT – The First Troop Transport Group (1º GTT) – Zeus Squadron – was created as a combat air unit with the mission of assuring the air transportation of the Brazilian Army’s airborne units. Its command was effectively activated on June 15th, 1961. It currently operates from Anápolis Air Base (BAAN). Considering its extensive history of relevant services rendered to the Brazilian society, the Air Unit celebrates 61 years in 2022 and is consecrated to the noble mission of deploying and operating one more strategic vector of the Brazilian Air Force: the KC-390 Millennium.
1º/1st GT – The First Transport Group Squadron (1º/1st GT) – Gordo Squadron was the first FAB Air Unit selected to operate the Lockheed C-130 Hercules logistical transport aircraft, and in March 2022 received the first two KC-390 Millennium aircraft. The 1st/1st GT is based at Galeão Air Base (BAGL).
Photos: FACH, Captain Cruz / Gordo Squadron and Petty Officer Joelson Nery / CECOMSAER *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***