Argentine Armed Forces Strengthen Aerial Capacity in Joint Exercise “Larus 16”

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo July 19, 2016 Troops from the three branches of the Argentine Armed Forcesstrengthened their aerial capabilities in the “Larus 16” exercise, conductedbetween May 23rd and June 3rd at the Comandante Espora Naval Air Base in theprovince of Buenos Aires. “Larus 16” is part of the annual exercise plan organized bythe Training and Enlistment Command (CAA, for its Spanish acronym) of theArgentine Air Force (FAA), which is responsible for airspace defense tacticsand strategies. “The goal of Larus is to train and evaluate qualifiedpersonnel from the institution in air defense tasks such as close-fire airsupport, aerial resupply, and combat interception procedures,” CommodoreCésar Grando, head of the FAA’s Institutional Communications Department, toldDiálogo. To improve the capabilities of the FAA’s weapons systems,the Larus 16 exercise included the participation of units from the ArgentineArmy (for air drop and paratrooper missions) and Navy (for search and rescue ofcrew members, and air drop and paratrooper missions). “The exercise allows us to integrate the diversecapabilities of the armed services, encouraging joint military action andstrengthening mutual knowledge for fast and accurate decision-making,”Cdre. Grando said. Exchange among the Armed Services On the morning of May 23rd, Commodore Fernando Rubio,director of the Larus 16 exercise, welcomed participants to the ComandanteEspora Naval Air Base. Among them, were members of the FAA Special OperationsGroup; the Air Space Surveillance and Control Group; and Air Brigades I, II,III, IV, VI, VII, and IX . The Army’s 4th Paratrooper Support Company and Navalinfantry also took part. The service members also used the IA-63 Pampa traineraircraft from the Sixth Air Brigade, based at Tandil in the province of BuenosAires, the IA-58 Pucará twin-engine turboprop from the 3rd Air Brigade, basedat Reconquista in the province of Santa Fe, and the C-130 Hercules tanker fromthe First Air Brigade, based at El Palomar in the province of Buenos Aires. The A-4AR Fightinghawk attack aircraft, the Bell 212transport helicopter, the Fokker F-27 twin-engine turboprop passenger aircraft,and the DH6 Twin Otter utility aircraft were also used in the exercise. Training Assignments The service members completed various assignments during thetwo-week exercise. “The IA-63 Pampa and the IA-58 Pucará fighter aircraftsquadrons carried out fighter aircraft runs simulating attacks on groundtargets,” Cdre. Grando said. He added that the fighter planes alsoperformed training for air-to-ground and air-to-air firing. “Using the Hercules C-130, we did drills dropping theAir Force Special Operations team, simulating situations in which crews areejected,” Cdre. Grando said. “We also practiced resupply by droppingmaterials and supplies for the participating forces and by droppingair-transported troops from the Army and the Marines.” The Larus 16 exercise also put into practice direct aerialdefense, employing a mobile radar and interceptor aircraft responsible fordefending a specific material target, Cdre. Grando said. Meanwhile, the Army’s 4th Paratrooper Support Companytrained in supporting paratroopers from the Rapid Deployment Force, an Armyunit that operates in emergency situations. “The Company was also responsible for preparation andair supply with A22 containers, as well as dropping heavy air cargo, includingartillery ammunition platforms and a 12-foot platform for a Mercedes Benz 230G-Class SUV,” the Argentine Army reported in a statement. “After the drop, paratroopers jumpedusing the manual release [modality].” In addition, the Army mobilized the following units to lendsupport to Larus 16: the Army’s 3rd Division, the 603 Commando Company, theSchool of Airborne Troops and Special Operations, the Army Transport Company,and the 4th Air Transport Brigade. Mission Accomplished On June 3rd, various military authorities arrived at theComandante Espora Naval Air Base for the closing ceremony of the Larus 16exercise. Brigadier Major Oscar Charadía, Commander of the CAA; andBrigadier Pedro Girardi, chief of staff of the CAA, were present at asearch-and-rescue assignment carried out by the Fokker F-27 in the area ofBahía Blanca. They also observed a bombing exercise carried out by the IA-58. At the conclusion, Cdre. Rubio praised the efforts of the participants incompleting their assignments. “This is an experience for everyone, fromthe gunsmith to the pilot and the fire controlman,” he said, according toan FAA statement. Brig. Maj. Charadía also congratulated all the participantsfor the activities. “I bring you greetings from the chief of the Air ForceStaff [Brigadier Enrique Víctor Amrein] for the work you’ve done,” hesaid. “As commander, I am proud of everything you have accomplished.”last_img

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