First Belize air, land, and sea mobile training team

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Ashlyn Asipauskas
  • 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a first-ever air, land and sea training mission with the Belize Air Wing, Belize Defence Force, and Belize Coast Guard from May 3-18.

The MSAS mobile training team’s goal was to enact, change and build capabilities for each of the three Belizean forces, while building partner nation relationships. The team accomplished this by conducting various training courses, including an aircrew flying hour program, an aircraft scheduling program, a tactical first aid course, an aircrew flight equipment program management course, a hands-on radio course, and an information technology principles course.

Air advisors conducted a high frequency radio communications course with the Belize Coast Guard, which culminated in a Joint Maritime Exercise, the first of its kind performed in the country. Multiple scenarios were held at sea to allow the students to demonstrate the communications skills they had learned during the course. Throughout the duration of the exercise, the students made multiple radio calls to land-based assets, while their instructors stood by, on-board, and ready to assist.

“Conducting realistic, scenario-based exercises while in the real-world operating environments of our students is crucial not only to demonstrate the skills they learn in the classroom, but to build student confidence, and showcase the capabilities of the equipment,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Stewart, 571st MSAS air advisor.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Moody, member of the Strike Team from the Belize Coast Guard, described how this training provided them with the tools for future mission success.

“The ability to utilize the radios to communicate to headquarters is essential while conducting our maritime interdiction and rescue missions,” Moody said. “The techniques we practiced during this exercise will definitely lead to safer operations at sea.”

The IT principles course led by MSAS air advisors introduced the students to various types of cyber-attacks and malware that can negatively affect information systems if not properly secured. They also introduced techniques and policies to help to instill a stronger cyber defense mindset while using information systems in the future.

“You’ve provided us with valuable, much appreciated information, perspective, and insight which I hope we can build upon in the near future.” said Belize Defence Force Corporal Richard Arnold, second in command of the BDF IT Department.

“Overall I think this mission demonstrates the professionalism and expertise of the MSAS members. Our SMEs [subject matter experts] were able to adapt to a variety of equipment and personnel challenges while working with three elements of the Belizean military forces,” said Tech. Sgt. Joe Wruck, MTT team sergeant. “Upon MTT completion, every student, no matter what branch of service, was effectively challenged to make changes that will ultimately build stronger capabilities.”