Air Guardsmen in Brazil for Multinational Exercise

More than 130 Air National Guardsmen from Arizona and Washington, D.C., are in Natal, Brazil, participating in this year’s iteration of CRUZEX, a Brazilian air force-led training exercise focused on coalition aerial refueling and combat search and rescue in a fictitious peacekeeping scenario. A KC-135 tanker from Arizona’s 161st Aerial Refueling Wing and six F-16s from the District of Columbia’s 113th Fighter Wing are among the more than 90 aircraft taking part, according to a release from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern). The exercise kicked off on Nov. 4 and runs through Nov. 15. In all, more than 2,000 military personnel are participating, including those from Canada and a number of South American countries, states the release. “We are very familiar with our operations in our area of responsibility, but being in Brazil, there are obvious and unique differences with the culture, language skills, and the local environment,” said Col. Keith Colmer, 12th AF’s ANG advisor. The Air Force made its debut at CRUZEX in 2010. (Natal report by SrA. Camilla Elizeu)