PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.: Ten members of the Uruguayan armed forces visited Air Force Reserve Command’s 920th Rescue Wing here Aug. 29 through Sept. 2 to get hands-on rescue orientation and training.
The South American team was made up of pilots, a loadmaster and pararescue jumpers.
Air Force officials, through the American Embassy in Uruguay, invited the visitors as part of an ongoing exchange program with U.S. Southern Command, which fosters close ties between the two nations.
Lt. Col. Saint Lehtinen, the Air Force section chief in the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, served as host, escort and translator for the group.
“Our mission in Uruguay is to help grow the nation’s capabilities, security and stability,” Colonel Lehtinen said. “We also want to promote U.S. interests, provide humanitarian assistance and counter drug trafficking.”
During the visit, members of the 920th RQW HC-130P/N Hercules squadron flew the Uruguayan pararescuemen aboard a C-130 extended-range, combat-search-and-rescue aircraft for joint jump training over the Banana River, adjacent to Patrick AFB. Uruguay is densely covered with river plants, so the Uruguayans will continue to work with the Florida pararescuemen and rescue crews to hone their skills and exchange vital information in water rescue techniques.
Next year the 920th reservists will travel to Uruguay and continue the training started in Florida.