Air Advisors support Belizean counterparts with AERONet course

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Samantha Miller
  • 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron

Members of the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron (MSAS) traveled from Travis Air Force Base, California, to Belize City, Belize, last week to instruct command and control principals with AERONet course to the Belizean force.

AERONet, a "system of systems," unites current equipment, such as radios, cell phones and tablets, to reveal a larger operating picture. Additionally, the AERONet course also provides a command and control overview for leadership decision-making, which results in a more rapid emergency response.

The 571st MSAS team assembled 16 members from the Belize Coast Guard, Defense Force, Air Wing, Police Force and Joint Intelligence Operations Center to accomplish this two-week course. The collaborative effort resulted in learning new skill sets culminating in executing four exercises. As a result, AERONet is rapidly becoming a system Belize can use to assist in countering the narcotic movements throughout Central America.

Multiple reports from the area have exposed the frequent drug trafficking in Belize through illegal aircraft that has since become a significant battle for those trying to counter the illicit drug movement. In addition, the U.S. State Department classifies the country as a "major transit country for drugs coming from South America," which is a concern that both parties have an interest in resolving.

"Belize is on the path to an integrated, national response to illicit aircraft operations," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Clark, 571st MSAS Air Advisor and Mission Commander. "The problem set is challenging, and with limited resources, the tactics must be both creative and effective. The Belize team is making solid strides working through blended operations, effective communications and tactics."