US and Guatemalan service members complete joint seminars Published March 24, 2014 By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs LA AURORA AIR BASE, Guatemala (AFNS) -- The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron has completed 25 days of joint seminars with Guatemalan armed forces counterparts here, March 13. The 571st is one of two Mobility Support Advisory Squadrons within the 621st Contingency Response Wing that supports 12th Air Force's Southern engagements in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The squadron's focus during the assignment was on improving mission support capabilities for counter narcotic operations while building partnership capacity, thus strengthening partner nation's ability and relationship to achieve mission objectives. The seminars conducted by the 571st MSAS included aircraft maintenance, aircraft security, radio communications and intelligence. These seminars were facilitated by a mobile training team, comprised of specialized Airmen in their respective career fields. "I am extremely happy to see the interactions between the Guatemalan service members and our team," said Master Sgt. Patrick Lombardo, the 571st MSAS Security Forces air adviser. "Their motivation to improve security for their air assets is vital for any of their missions. To witness what we have taught them and see their abilities put into action is spot on and gratifying." Throughout the seminars, Guatemalan service members accomplished classroom instruction, hands-on activities and a final capstone event that demonstrated all that they learned. "These seminars were very informative, structured and an overall great experience for all of our attendees," said Capt. Francisco Roberto Ruiz Cifuentes, a Guatemalan operations officer. "Having the opportunity to improve our radio communications and learn more about our capabilities instills knowledge in all of us, which will greatly help during operations. Improving communications improves our commander's flow of information and will optimize command and control in any situation and give us positive results." Upon completion of the seminars and final capstone event, a ceremony for the attendees closed off the engagement, Guatemalan Col. Guillermo Orozco Rodas, the La Aurora AB commander. Also in attendance was Col. Martin Chapin, the 621st CRW commander. Orozco thanked the teams during the ceremony for demonstrating the highest degree of professionalism and expertise in their respective fields, and presented the team with certificates of appreciation on behalf of the Guatemalan air command. "We thank you for sharing such immense knowledge in a short amount of time," Orozco said. "I know that these skills and experiences shared throughout our time together will help us and our armed services, and most of all Guatemala. This has been a great opportunity for all." Chapin spoke on behalf of U.S. service members and thanked the hospitality of the Guatemalan hosts. He said he was proud of all who partook in the seminars and shared the Air Force's tradition of coining outstanding performers. Upon completion of the engagement Chapin shared his reflection of the MSAS' vital role in the contingency response wing and assisting U.S. Southern Command combatant command objectives. "These tactical steps are the building blocks that create the foundation of partnerships," Chapin said. "They gain tactical knowledge from us and we gain a better understanding of their perspective, procedures and culture. This will help us greatly in future joint operations. The real value that the Air Force receives in operations such as this is the relationship and rapport we establish that have a lasting effect. Overall, the Guatemalans know we care."