MTT strengthens bonds with foreign nations

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cade Ellis
  • 23rd Wing

A U.S. Air Force Mobile Training Team (MTT) participated in a training mission with the Chilean Air Force at Los Condores Air Force Base, Iquique, Chile, April 28 to May 25, 2024.

The mission intended to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Chile, as well as hone skills in aircraft crash, damage, and recovery tactics and procedures, to create a more capable force to combat future conflicts.

"After spending several years overseas, I have quickly realized America cannot do it alone and our partnerships and coalitions are essential,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Bobby Buckner, 23rd Maintenance Group commander. “While we may be teaching aircraft recovery, repair, and crash site management, we're truly building relationships with our international partners. When challenges arise and our commander or president calls for support, these strong relationships make it easier for us to respond confidently in our combined capability."

One of Moody’s own, Master Sgt. Eddie Santana, 23rd Maintenance Group program manager, was selected to join the team of three Airmen because of his expertise and fluency in Spanish.

“The three of us being able to speak Spanish fluently gave the students a chance to interact in a better way,” Santana said. “They got the chance to ask more in-depth questions because they had the opportunity to have more one-on-one conversations without the language barrier.”

Not only were the teams able to exchange ideas and knowledge, but Santana gained a new perspective.

“I learned the value of perseverance,” Santana said. “Even though they had limited resources, their pride and commitment to supporting the mission, and each other, was very clear to me. They eagerly learned and shared insights across various AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Code), mastering multiple roles during our time there.”

The U.S. Air Force prioritizes our allies and partners. As strategic partners, we can sharpen each other’s competitive edge, secure common interests, and promote shared values.

"Every interaction with our international partners is an opportunity to learn from them," Buckner said. "While they benefit from our techniques and lessons, we also strengthen our relationships and gain valuable insights from them."

The collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and the Chilean Air Force demonstrated the importance of strong international partnerships. Such alliances are crucial for ensuring that military forces are prepared and capable of responding to any call, enhancing global security and mission success.