LIBERIA, COSTA RICA –
The U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, deployed three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aircrews to provide aviation support for the Costa Rican Police Forces during various training exercises with Special Operations Command South, June 10-16.
The training consisted of fast rope insertion and extraction system (FRIES) training, helocast operations and caving ladder training. The FRIES is employed during situations when service members need to get to a destination where terrain restricts an aircraft from landing.
“Training of this nature is key to the success of JTF-Bravo, it expands our capabilities to conduct tactical over water operations,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Timothy Sartori, commander of the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment. “The region endured two Category 4 hurricanes last year, our training program allowed the 1-228th to immediately deploy and support our host nation and local partners.”
Sartori mentioned that it is important to train with our Caribbean partners to help them remain proficient in helicopter operations and build confidence during overwater aviation operations.
Costa Rican Police Forces left with more than being familiarized with insertion and extraction techniques and over water operations during the training.
“One of the key takeaways from this training rotation is that with the right training, we can immediately increase capability and capacity,” said Sartori. “We are directly supporting USSOUTHCOM’s campaign plan as we strengthen our relationships, building partner capacity and interoperability.”