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New York Guard Soldiers, Airmen to Join Brazilian Exercises

  • Published
  • By Eric Durr,
  • New York National Guard

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. - More than 100 New York National Guard Airmen and Soldiers will participate in two August training missions in Brazil as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

Fifteen New York Army National Guard medical personnel will take part in a humanitarian response exercise called Operation Parana III in Brazil’s Parana State Aug. 12-18.

The Soldiers from the 466th Medical Company (Area Support) will be joined by two public affairs Soldiers and a staff planner from the New York Army National Guard’s 53rd Troop Command for the exercise.

The 466th provides routine and emergency medical care to Soldiers. Soldiers from the battalion deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 and Kuwait in 2021-2022.

The Americans will be among 125 foreign soldiers from 15 countries participating in this exercise.

The participating militaries are part of the Conference of American Armies, currently chaired by Brazil.

The Brazilian army has assigned 1,700 troops, 13 patrol boats and four helicopters to the exercise across Parana State, according to Capt. Stephanie Fernandez, one of the exercise planners.

Parana State is in southern Brazil, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Paraguay on the west.

The Brazilian military says the drill will simulate natural disaster response, operating field hospitals, rescuing people from flooding and landslides, and providing survivors emergency medical aid, food and water.

This is the third year the Brazilian military has conducted this exercise, integrating foreign assistance into the training this year. The New York National Guard medical personnel and troops from Mexico, Spain, Portugal and Columbia are part of that effort.

The top enlisted leader for the 466th, 1st Sgt. Amanda Eldred, and Fernandez participated in a logistics planning conference for Operation Parana III in May.

One hundred New York Air National Guard Airmen will deploy to Campo Grande, Brazil, Aug. 16-27 to participate in Operation Tapio, a combat search and rescue training exercise.

Most of the Airmen come from the 106th Rescue Wing, which specializes in search and rescue operations.

The 106th will deploy two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and an HC-103J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft for the training mission.

The 106th will also send members of the wing security forces squadron and intelligence elements to participate, said Capt. Michael Meegan, one of the exercise planners.

Airmen from the 105th Airlift Wing will move the 106th’s helicopters and some personnel to and from Brazil on two C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters.

Meegan said the 107th Attack Wing, which flies the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, will deploy Airmen trained to operate these aircraft who will work with their Brazilian Air Force counterparts.

The 107th will also deploy Airmen who specialize in directing air strikes on ground targets to participate in the training.

As part of the exercise, a specialist in recovering downed aircrew members from the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division will conduct a virtual class for Brazilian personnel.

The State Partnership Program pairs state National Guards with other countries’ militaries for joint training and exchange programs.

The New York National Guard has had a State Partnership Program training and exchange relationship with Brazil since 2019. 

New York also has a state partnership with the Republic of South Africa and a bilateral training agreement with the Israeli Homefront Command.