By Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard hosted six members of the Belize Defence Force for aviation cross-training in Hammond and Belle Chasse, Louisiana, July 11-15.
The LANG and BDF are partners in the State Partnership Program. The purpose of the SPP is to foster mutual interests and
establish habitual long-term relationships across all levels of society, and encourages the development of economic, political and military ties between states and partner nations.
“Louisiana and Belize have been partners since 1996, and when you get down to it, Belize brings a lot of real life experience that we benefit learning from,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Allen West, LANG SPP director.
The purpose of the visit was for representatives of the BDF’s aviation assets to meet with the 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group and 159th Fighter Wing to discuss operational support plans, maintenance procedures and quality control measures to support preparations for Belize’s expected receipt of new fixed-wing platforms, as well as requirements for air worthiness ratings and support to US forces.
During the visit, BDF members toured the facilities at the 159th in Belle Chasse and the 204th in Hammond to communicate with aircraft maintainers about best practices in quality control and maintenance. They also had a look at flight simulators, a flight control tower and a metal fabrication shop.
“The major takeaways from this visit are the importance of quality control and the people who work on aircrafts to keep equipment functional and minimize injuries,” said West.