Chilean Vipers Visit Lackland

Chilean air force F-16s trained with the Texas Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., as part of an ongoing partnership between the two nations, according to Lackland officials. This marked the first deployment abroad for the Chilean F-16s, states a Lackland release. “The opportunity to share experiences and get some training with pilots who have a lot of experience with the airplane is really, really good,” said Chilean air attaché Col. Leonardo Romanini, in Lackland’s Nov. 4 release. Accompanied by a Chilean KC-135, three F-16s and roughly 50 Chilean airmen arrived at Lackland for the three-day exercise, which took place Oct. 24-26. The Chilean pilots and maintainers worked alongside their Texas Air Guard counterparts to launch a series of air-to-air and close air support sorties aimed at helping the Chilean air force become deployable worldwide, according to the release. The 149th FW has been partnered with the Chileans through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program since 2009, states the release. (Lackland report by SSgt. Phil Fountain)