Raven Talk

Operation Southern Partner, Air Forces Southern’s ongoing two-week-long series of exchange programs with South American air forces is in high gear. On Oct. 29, for example, airmen specializing in force protection demonstrated the Air Force’s Raven B small-sized unmanned aerial vehicle, used for perimeter security, to the Chilean Air Force’s anti-aircraft artillery regiment at Quintero AFB, Chile, about 70 miles west of Santiago, as part of a discussion on base defense. A Canadian Army officer accompanying the USAF airmen took part in presenting the Raven B. “We’ve found that the Chilean Air Force has some of the same issues we have,” said Lt. Col. Don Robertson, USAF’s force protection team chief for OSP. He said the Chileans realize that “force protection is everyone’s responsibility,” meaning every airman should act as a “sensor” in alerting base security officials to any threats. Overall Robertson said he’s “gained a great deal of respect” for the discipline and professionalism of his Chilean counterparts. More than 70 USAF airmen are participating in this iteration of OSP, which began Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 7 at locations in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is a new initiative under which AFSOUTH will sponsor periodic, intensive, subject-matter exchanges with military members of partner nations in Central and South America. (Quintero report by TSgt. Roy Santana)