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US, Salvadoran airmen share night vision knowledge

March 15, 2018

Partner nation service members participated in a Subject Matter Expert Exchange at the 357th Fighter Squadron’s aircrew flight equipment shop, March 6-8.

The exchange focused on the night vision goggles calibration, preventative maintenance and storage, as well as, the aircrew flight equipment shop structure. Two El Salvadoran Air Force aircraft mechanics and two U.S. Air Force aircrew flight equipment craftsmen shared knowledge through the mission planner who was able to interpret the information between the airmen.

Air crew flight equipment airmen are responsible for ensuring that all air crew flight and safety equipment is operating properly. They maintain equipment items like night vision goggles, flight helmets and oxygen masks and pack emergency items like parachutes and survival kits.

“We have here a wealth of information that we are putting into practice in our work areas,” said El Salvadoran Air Force First Sgt. Raul Mauricio Molina Cedillos, aviation technician. “The important topics we are learning here we will take back and share with our colleagues.”

This was the first time the members of the El Salvadoran Air Force have visited the United States to exchange information on night vision goggles.

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“This is a continuation mission for us as we try to engage with partner Air Forces,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Roberto Vasquez, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) plans and operations superintendent. “The continuation piece is giving advocacy to their equipment, to some of the equipment that the theater security cooperation brings as U.S. Government.”

The El Salvadorian airmen also met with the ranking enlisted Airman in 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Command Chief Master Sgt. Alexander del Valle. He spoke to them concerning enlisted structure, development and gender equality.

“The importance of SMEE or the exchanges with other partner nations is very important because it gives us a sense of cooperation building partner nation capacity,” Vasquez said.