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West Virginia National Guard showcases domestic response capabilities for Peruvian Air Force leadership

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of West Virginia National Guard, discusses domestic response operations and capabilities with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, at the WVNG Joint Force Headquarters Joint Operations Center (JOC). Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing and JFHQ to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Army and Air National Guard assets including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Capt. Holli Nelson)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of West Virginia National Guard, discusses domestic response operations and capabilities with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, at the WVNG Joint Force Headquarters Joint Operations Center (JOC). Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing and JFHQ to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Army and Air National Guard assets including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Capt. Holli Nelson)

West Virginia National Guard leadership along with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, walk out to a C-130H Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

West Virginia National Guard leadership along with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, walk out to a C-130H Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard and Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, talk with Chief Master Sgt. Chris Butler, a chief flight engineer with the 130th Operations Group, about the capabilities and functionality of the C-130H Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The Peruvian Air Force and West Virginia Air National Guard’s partnership goes back to 1996, with more than 121 engagement events completed. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard and Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, talk with Chief Master Sgt. Chris Butler, a chief flight engineer with the 130th Operations Group, about the capabilities and functionality of the C-130H Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The Peruvian Air Force and West Virginia Air National Guard’s partnership goes back to 1996, with more than 121 engagement events completed. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Members of the 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron brief Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, about their squadron’s medical capabilities Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Members of the 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron brief Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, about their squadron’s medical capabilities Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Tim Sayre, a contractor for the 130th Airlift Wing’s Engine Regional Repair Center, explains the engine rebuild program to Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The work of the 130th AW Engine Regional Repair Center helps to save more than $500,000 per engine by rebuilding and repairing or overhauling C-130H engines and propellors locally. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Tim Sayre, a contractor for the 130th Airlift Wing’s Engine Regional Repair Center, explains the engine rebuild program to Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The work of the 130th AW Engine Regional Repair Center helps to save more than $500,000 per engine by rebuilding and repairing or overhauling C-130H engines and propellors locally. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, points at a C-130H propeller alongside U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Cadle, 130th Mission Support Group commander (left) and Staff Sgt. Johana Aguilar, who is serving as an interpreter, Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The Peruvian Air Force and West Virginia Air National Guard’s partnership through the State Partnership Program (SPP) goes back to 1996, with more than 121 engagement events completed. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, points at a C-130H propeller alongside U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Cadle, 130th Mission Support Group commander (left) and Staff Sgt. Johana Aguilar, who is serving as an interpreter, Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. Mendiola visited the 130th Airlift Wing to see first hand the domestic response capabilities of Air National Guard assets at the wing including the C-130H and aeromedical evacuation mission. The Peruvian Air Force and West Virginia Air National Guard’s partnership through the State Partnership Program (SPP) goes back to 1996, with more than 121 engagement events completed. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, shares a laugh with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, while discussing ways in which the West Virginia National Guard and the country of Peru’s military can extend their partnership Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. The State Partnership Program (SPP) is designed to build and improve relations around the globe through 73 security partnerships with different countries, including Peru as West Virginia’s partner. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, shares a laugh with Peruvian Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio C. Mendiola, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché for the Embassy of Peru, while discussing ways in which the West Virginia National Guard and the country of Peru’s military can extend their partnership Nov. 21, 2017 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, W.Va. The State Partnership Program (SPP) is designed to build and improve relations around the globe through 73 security partnerships with different countries, including Peru as West Virginia’s partner. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Caleb Vance)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia and Peru are jointly connected through the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program (SPP) and the two have been advising, training and assisting each other since 1996.

The SPP was designed in 1992 to improve and build relations around the globe through 73 partnerships with different countries. In just over 20 years, Peru and West Virginia have partnered up for more than 120 interactions between the forces providing insight into regional challenges facing the Andean Ridge, especially in the areas of counter-insurgency, anti-terrorism, emergency preparedness, risk mitigation, disaster response and recovery.

“It was an honor to host Maj. Gen. Mendiola here in West Virginia and to have the opportunity to showcase the assets and abilities possessed by our Soldiers and Airmen to respond at a moment’s notice to our citizens when in need,” said Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, The Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “There is a longstanding and successful partnership shared between the Peruvian military and the West Virginia National Guard and we look forward to increasing prospects for further training and interaction, to include economic development, with our partner nation that will come from this visit.”

This visit in particular was instrumental in growing the strong partnership between Peru and the West Virginia National Guard, and for deciding actions and future programs for interchanging experience with training between the two forces.

During the visit, Mendiola was briefed on and saw first-hand the domestic response capabilities of both the West Virginia Air and Army National Guard, which included the aeromedical evacuation mission, C-130H capabilities, homeland response and joint operations center management of resources during disasters.

With hopes of aiding the Peruvian Air Force to obtain more advanced airlift capabilities in their country, members of the 130th Operations Group and 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron outlined the dynamic capability of the C-130H. From serving as a flying hospital providing round-the-clock care for patients, to ensuring humanitarian aid can be delivered to remote areas, Mendiola saw first-hand what the C-130 can offer in times of need.

Airmen from the two units also emphasized their skills as National Guard Citizen-Airmen, contributing to mission success through knowledge and experience gained in their civilian jobs. Aeromedical evacuation technicians and flight nurses possess a combined 14 or more years of experience in the medical field and aircrew members with the 130th Operations Group maintain similar experience levels and have extensive C-130 corporate knowledge throughout the unit.

Mendiola noted he hopes, “to continue to work through the Air Force and with the National Guard of West Virginia by crafting future programs and to do joint operations, exercises and subject matter exchanges in the area in order to help fight against natural disasters such as earthquakes and also the wildfires that are already occurring in Peru.”

The interaction could prove to be one of the most successful to date. Mendiola was impressed after touring the facilities and learning how the West Virginia National Guard conducts domestic response operations and attracts high quality Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen to perform its missions.

With hopes of moving forward on initiatives to conduct joint training and operations as well as further enhancing senior leader engagement, the West Virginia and Peruvian partnership continues to flourish.
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