On-the-Spot Training

Members of the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Air Refueling Wing, along with airmen from Sheppard AFB, Tex., were in Santiago, Chile, on Feb. 27 when the massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit the South American nation. They had arrived there days earlier to deliver the first of three KC-135E tankers that the Chilean Air Force has purchased from the US and to train the Chilean aircrews and maintainers. After the Earthquake, the Air Guardsmen immediately switched to humanitarian-assistance mode, transporting mobile medical units and supplies around Chile to support the international relief efforts. Along the way, they’ve been able to fit in some real-world training for the Chileans, who are riding along with them. “These students are getting Ph.D.-level training,” said Lt. Col. Boyd Badali, one of the 151st ARW pilots. He added, “It’s been a great experience.” (Salt Lake City report by Maj Krista DeAngelis)