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Colombian air force leads multinational airdrop mission

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The Colombian air force conducted a multinational personnel airdrop mission from their Casa 295 aircraft during Exercise Mobility Guardian Aug. 6.

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, mission planner. “We also gathered information for an international jump and were able 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.

Effective communication is critical for airdrop operations and with personnel onboard that spoke five languages the Colombians held two meeting the day prior with all members participating and ensured that jumpers had ample time to prepare their gear on the day of the jump.

“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, 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 proof positive 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.