TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Air advisors from the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron successfully executed their second major in-country engagement April 27-May 20, 2021, at Cotopaxi Air Force Base in Latacunga, Ecuador.
The 571st MSAS plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining relations with global strategic partners in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. Since the unit conducted their very first Mobile Training Team engagement in Ecuador last summer, they’ve maintained relationships with the Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana, also known as FAE, counterparts and returned once again for a follow up engagement in spite of the global pandemic.
During this engagement, 571st MSAS air advisors embedded with FAE technicians of their respective specialties where they worked side-by-side exchanging ideas and experiences to discover cooperative solutions for the betterment of the FAE while also improving the air advisory capabilities of the MSAS.
The MTT consisted of air advisors with specialties in aircraft and vehicle maintenance, logistics, airfield operations, military working dog and base defense.
Upon the team’s arrival, the commander of the FAE’s 11th Transportation Wing, Lt. Col. Jorge Alcázar Sevilla, once again greeted all with a formal presentation and expressed his gratitude for the continued relationship.
The MSAS team also had a unique opportunity to train with air advisors from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing, Ecuador’s state partner under the State Partnership Program (SPP), in the execution of their one-week engagement with the FAE during the same timeframe in preparation for future SPP engagements, through knowledge sharing and translation services from English to Spanish.
As the engagement progressed, the team was able to train with their FAE partners while bolstering the experience of air advisors, and ultimately continue to nourish the relationship they fostered with the FAE last summer.
Lt. Col. Nel Vaca Flores, commander of the FAE’s 112th Logistics Group in Cotopaxi, expressed his gratitude for the engagement.
“Since last year, after the MSAS conducted courses with our personnel, our work improved considerably due to the knowledge imparted by the USAF instructors. That event adequately increased the knowledge level of our technicians in their different areas of responsibility, leading to continuous improvement,” he said. “The experience, knowledge and learning that has been achieved in the past few weeks during this engagement, has truly exceeded all of our expectations and will be of great use for the future of our organization. I appreciate the patience and trust that we have in each other, for each and every one of the team members of the 571 MSAS.”
He summed up his words with this statement, “I am grateful to the MSAS for their partnership. Given that we are brother countries and friendly air forces, we have the same ideals, principles and values; this type of engagement makes our union much stronger in the duties we perform every day.”
Additionally, the team took the opportunity to visit a nearby rural school. Capt. Kaitlin Morones and Tech. Sgt. Anthony Colon-Matos coordinated the community relations event with the help of FAE leadership and brought school supplies including pencils, notebooks, backpacks, toys as well as soccer balls for the students to enjoy during recess. The team had lunch at the school and concluded the event with a friendly soccer game between the MSAS and the students.
“I could not be more proud of what the team was able to accomplish throughout this MTT,” said Morones, 571st MSAS mobile training team mission commander. “I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with Lieutenant Colonel Vaca again and his team of professionals who were once again eager to further the progress that was accomplished last summer. From training with the FAE, integrating with the Kentucky Air National Guard State Partnership Program, to initiating the Women, Peace, and Security program, my team was always ready to adapt and progress onward proving over and over again what it means to be a MSAS Air Advisor furthering Security Force Assistance and building lasting relationships within the SOUTHCOM region.”