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107th Attack Wing Hosts Brazil for Space Development Workshop

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jason Carr,
  • 107th Attack Wing Public Affairs

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. - The New York Air National Guard’s 222nd Command and Control Squadron, charged with helping to control and monitor U.S. military satellites, hosted four Brazilian officers during a week-long space training workshop Dec. 4-8.

The Brazilian Navy and Air Force officers discussed recruiting, training and retaining space operations personnel with representatives from U.S. Space Command and U.S. Southern Command.

The Airmen assigned to the 222nd support the National Reconnaissance Office, which manages U.S. surveillance satellites. The squadron is a component of the New York Air Guard’s 107th Attack Wing, which operates from the Niagara Falls base.

The New York National Guard has a State Partnership Program training agreement with Brazil’s military. Members of the 222nd have already worked with Brazilian military personnel assigned to Brazil’s space efforts, said Capt. Randy Cooper, an intelligence officer for the 222nd.

“We want to continue to expand our relationship and cooperation with Brazil’s Space Operations Center and the larger Brazilian military, “ Cooper said.

“Cooperation with our partner nations is essential to our approach,” agreed Lt. Col. Brandon Alford, director of plans, programs, assessments and security cooperation for Southern Command space operations. “Our partners from Brazil share our values regarding the peaceful use of space and are committed to strengthening our existing partnership.”

“The most important lesson during this workshop was establishing foundational trust with which to continue to build our relationships,” said Col. John Kolb, director, USSPACECOM Joint Integrated Space Team to USSOUTHCOM. 

Brazilian Air Force Capt. Viannay Fabricio Da Fonseca said the workshop was very worthwhile.

“I think what was most impactful was the opportunity to exchange experiences with U.S. counterparts, the importance of a framework and roadmap, and focused development and training of our junior enlisted and noncommissioned officers,” he said.

The Brazilians also toured historic sites in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area.

“On behalf of the AFSOUTH Director of Space Forces, Col. John Whitaker, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to work with the amazing professionals from the New York Air National Guard and with our Brazilian partners,” said Alford. “We look forward to what is certainly a bright future for everyone in this partnership.”