U.S. and Colombian Air Force aircraft take off during Exercise Relampago VI​


Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 13, 2021. The United States is an enduring, reliable partner with a shared stake in the security and prosperity of the region, and this exercise will improve Colombian and U.S. forces’ capabilities to rapidly deploy and employ forces anywhere around the globe at any moment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Duncan C. Bevan)

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Relampago VI. USA and Colombia Together in a Military Partnership Exercise​

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Relampago VI. USA and Colombia Together in a Military Partnership Exercise RIONEGRO, COLOMBIA 07.17.2021 Airmen and pilots assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron and 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron respectively, dedicated themselves to techniques, tactics and procedures to strengthen the longstanding partnership between our countries during Exercise Relampago VI at CACOM 5 in Rionegro, Colombia, throughout the month of July. The United States is an enduring, reliable partner with a shared stake in the security and prosperity of the region, and this exercise will improve Colombian and U.S. forces’ capabilities to rapidly deploy and employ forces anywhere around the globe at any moment.
 

Ejercicio Relámpago VI, Primeros Despegues, Full Audio​

Relampago VI, First Takes Offs​

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Ejercicio Relampago VI, Primeros Despegues Dos F-16 Fighting Falcons del 79th Fighter Squadron de la base Aerea de Shaw, Carolina del Sur despegan en el Comando Aereo de Combate Número 5 (CACOM 5) para el inicio del Ejercicio Relampago VI en Rionegro, Colombia, el 12 de julio de 2021. Seis Los F-16 Fighting Falcons junto con el personal de la Base de la Fuerza Aérea Shaw se integrarán rápidamente en el entrenamiento de teatro de operaciones, así como en misiones conjuntas, de coalición y asociadas durante el Ejercicio Relampago VI. Relampago VI es un ejercicio combinado de Colombia y Estados Unidos que se lleva a cabo en el teatro de operaciones del Comando Sur de los Estados Unidos (SOUTHCOM) que se centra en técnicas, tácticas y procedimientos para fortalecer la asociación de larga data entre nuestras fuerzas armadas.
 

USAF F-16 Night Ops at Relampago VI Military Exercise in Colombia​

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U.S. Air Force maintainers assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron prepare U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron for night operations during Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 19, 2021. Relampago VI is a combined Colombian and U.S. exercise taking place in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) theater that focuses on techniques, tactics and procedures to strengthen the longstanding partnership between our armed forces
 

USAF F-16 MAAS Installation Complete for Relampago VI​


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USAF F-16 MAAS Installation Complete for Relampago VI RIO NEGRO, COLOMBIA 07.10.2021 Airmen assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron completed an install and certification of a mobile aircraft arresting system prior to the commencement of Exercise Relampago VI on a shared runway with CACOM 5 and Jose Maria Cordova International Airport, July 9. The first ever MAAS install and certification at CACOM 5 is critical to maintaining mission readiness for ensuring safe fighter aircraft diverts to a runway. Relampago VI is a combined Colombian and U.S. exercise taking place in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) theater that focuses on techniques, tactics and procedures to strengthen the longstanding partnership between our armed forces.
 
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Brig. Gen. William L. Thigpen, left, U.S. Army South commanding general, meets Gral. Eduardo Enrique Zapateiro Altamiranda, Colombian National Army commanding general, July 21 in Bogotá for the first time as Thigpen recently took command of U.S. Army South late June. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen relations between the countries, exchange knowledge and enhance security cooperation. The Colombian Army is a top strategic partner in Latin America, and the U.S. and Colombian armies have worked together for many years. U.S. Army South seeks to advance the partnership with the Colombian Army beyond the high level of cooperation already established.
 
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A U.S. Air Force C17 Globemaster III lands at Tolemaida Air Base, Nido, Colombia, July 21, 2021. The C17 carried U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 2nd battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division for a Dynamic Force Employment with the Colombian military. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens)

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U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 2nd battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division arrive at Tolemaida Air Base, Nilo, Colombia for a Dynamic Force Employment on July 21, 2021. The DFE was conducted to increase interoperability with the Colombian military and to demonstrate operational readiness and regional unity. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens)
 

U.S. JTACs Train with Colombian Comandos​


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U.S. Air Force tactical air control party (TACP) Airmen deployed to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, trained with Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana) Special Operations Group (GROEA) comandos during exercise Relampago VI in both Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) Rionegro and Palenquero, Colombia, throughout the month of July.

“Relampago VI is about bringing the U.S. and Colombian military together to openly train and build relationships with one another,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler Stewart, 474th EOSS joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) non commissioned officer in charge. “Getting the opportunity to share my experiences with them and vice versa is amazing.”

U.S. Air Force JTACs are TACPs with the ability to use combat aircraft to engage in close air support (CAS) and other air operations from a forward position.

The TACP Airmen, all proficient in the JTAC capability, provided training to the GROEA comandos on this skillset; as the Colombian military is beginning to integrate this proficiency into their force.

“The GROEA comandos are more than just JTACs,” said Stewart. “These guys could also have the training of [explosive ordnance disposal], [pararescue], sniper-qualifications, dive-qualified and more. Most of their special forces have 15 plus years of experience in these skillsets and their stories are remarkable.”

During this training, the Colombians provided realistic scenarios deep in the woods of Palenquero. Despite the many challenges the exercise brought, one hurdle that didn’t exist was the language barrier. This was because of two reasons: some of the GROEA comandos spoke English and the U.S. has a TACP that is bi-lingual with some of his family residing in Colombia.

“I can’t think of a current opportunity that I am best suited for than to work with the Fuerza Aerea Colombiana as a United States Airmen,” says U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Antonio Videla, a TACP and qualified JTAC that helps interpret for his team. “It’s a uniquely, gratifying experience and I am tremendously proud that I am able to help in any way that I can.”

One of these times was during a CAS scenario when the Colombians and Americans jumped into a truck and sped down a dirt road. While being chased by simulated enemies, both the Americans and Colombians radioed in a helicopter to exfiltrate in. Videla was given the opportunity by the GROEA comandos to signal the helicopter in for his Colombian counterparts.

“It’s always exhilarating to work with live air,” said Videla. “It was a new experience to control both fixed wing CAS and rotary wing with a foreign partner while moving through the jungle so quickly. I loved it.”

According to the Colombian GROEA comandos, this exercise has also been one they won’t forget.

“I am very happy about this training and being able to work with the American JTACs. I want to say ‘Thank you for their contribution' to all of them,” said Fuerza Aerea Colombiana Lieutenant Gabriel Useche, GROEA comando. “This training is very important for the Fuerza Aerea Colombiana and our unit to improve these different tactics and techniques. I look forward to sharing more information and hope we can continue this training in the future.”
 
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Young Colombian soldiers, train together with commitment and dedication, they know that the protection of thousands of Colombians is in their hands.
 

USAF 14th ASOS Jumps with Colombian Special Operations Group at Relampago VI in Colombia​


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PALENQUERO, COLOMBIA 07.17.2021
USAF 14th ASOS Jumps with Colombian Special Operations Group at Relampago VI in Colombia


U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron perform an aircraft jump with the Colombian Air Force Aerial Special Operations Group (GROEA) air and terminal attack controllers during the Relampago VI Exercise at Palenquero Air Base, Colombia, July 17, 2021. Relampago VI is a combined Colombian and U.S. exercise taking place in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) theater that focuses on techniques, tactics and procedures to strengthen the longstanding partnership between our armed forces.
 

Army South develops medical evacuation rehearsals with Colombian combat medics​


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U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division medics and a Colombian army combat medic conduct medical evacuation rehearsals in preparation for a combined airborne exercise July 24, 2021, at Tolemaida Air Base, Colombia. The U.S. Army and Colombian military conducted a Dynamic Force Employment airborne exercise, also known as Exercise Hidra II, involving jungle and water survival training, multiple airborne jumps and a field training exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens)

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A Colombian army UH-60 Black Hawk carries two members of the Colombian army search and rescue team, July 24, 2021, at Tolemaida Air Base, Colombia. The Colombian army was rehearsing a medical evacuation in preparation for a Dynamic Force Employment airborne exercise, also known as Exercise Hidra II, between the U.S Army and Colombian joint military. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens)

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U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division medics and two Colombian army combat medics conduct medical evacuation rehearsals July 24, 2021, at Tolemaida Air Base, Colombia. The U.S. Army and Colombian military conducted a Dynamic Force Employment airborne exercise, also known as Exercise Hidra II, involving jungle and water survival training, multiple airborne jumps and a field training exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Taeckens)
 

Colombian Air Force Mayor Oscar Ramos, 111th Fighter Squadron Commander Interview Relampago VI​


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Colombian Air Force Mayor Oscar Ramos, 111th Fighter Squadron Commander Interview Relampago VI RIO NEGRO, COLOMBIA 07.14.2021 Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana) Mayor Oscar Ramos, 111th Fighter Squadron commander, describes Exercise Relampago VI and the benefits of this combined NATO training for both Colombian and U.S. participants at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 14, 2021. U.S. Airmen participating in Relampago VI report to either the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron or 79th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron. Relampago VI is a combined Colombian and U.S. exercise taking place in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) theater that focuses on techniques, tactics and procedures to strengthen the longstanding partnership between our armed forces. The United States is an enduring, reliable partner with a shared stake in the security and prosperity of the region, and this exercise will improve Colombian and U.S. forces’ capabilities to rapidly deploy and employ forces anywhere around the globe at any moment.
 
With the traditional exchange of wings, a symbolic act that seals the parachute jump between the armies of two countries, the Binational Strategic Exercise between the Military Forces of Colombia and troops of the South Army of the United States, which is carried out in the Tolemaida Military Fort until next July 30. More than 200 paratroopers from the two countries jumped from Colombian Air Force and United States Army planes at 1500 feet, demonstrating the airborne capabilities they have for the development of military operations where infiltration methods with descent are applied. vertical and with training procedures standardized by NATO. Within the group of paratroopers, the participation of seven military women, three from the United States Army and four from the National Army, stood out, evidencing the strength that identifies them and that has allowed them to gain spaces of recognition at the national and international level.


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She is the Captain Ingrid Arango, who trains and trains to become the first female pilot of the C-208B Grand Caravan aircraft. In charge of this transition is Major Julián Cuéllar from the National Army Aviation School.
 
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In all regions of Colombia there is a soldier watching over his safety and that of his family.
 
Hydra II Multinational Strategic Exercise

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Hydra II Multinational Strategic Exercise From July 25 to 30, the Colombian Military Forces and troops from the US Army Southern Command will carry out the Multinational Strategic Exercise Hidra II in the Tolemaida Military Fort. This is the second time that this knowledge exchange exercise has been carried out between the two countries that contributes to the strengthening of capacities to fight transnational threats and drug trafficking. Let's remember in this video one of the activities of the first version of Hydra
 

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