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Edwards AFB builds international partnerships, one jump at a time

  • Published
  • By Adam Bowles
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

In an aerial display of international cooperation, a team of test parachutists from the 412th Operations Support Squadron at Edwards AFB recently participated in the Resolute Sentinel 2023 exercise alongside the Peruvian Armed Forces. This joint training exercise, held in the scenic landscapes of Peru, showcased the exceptional skill and cooperation of these airborne warriors and our international partners.

"The Test Parachutist Program was requested to provide jumpmaster and parachutist support for the exercise," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Gregory, SERE Flight Chief, 412th OSS. "TPP was requested to support because the Military Freefall team from the 7th Special Forces Group tasked with the exercise had to fulfill real-world operational needs.”

Edwards, known for its cutting-edge research and testing facilities, sent a specialized team of test parachutists to share their expertise and refine their skills alongside their Peruvian counterparts.

The combined forces MFF jumps were still an exercise priority to the Peruvian national leaders and USSOUTHCOM stakeholders. Participants included the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, Department of State and the Drug Enforcement Agency said Gregory.

Resolute Sentinel is a 12th Air Force (Air Force Southern)-led USSOUTHCOM exercise first held in 2021. Resolute Sentinel 2023, held in Peru, provides joint training and improved readiness for U.S. and partner nation civil engineers, medical professionals, and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities.

"This trip was important because we were requested by USSOUTHCOM due to our reputation as subject matter experts who conduct professional, thorough, and safe parachute operations," said Senior Master Sgt. Austin Schmidt, Squadron Senior Enlisted Leader, 412th OSS. "This allowed us to support integrated deterrence by strengthening our ties with the nation of Peru and preventing our adversaries from gaining a foothold in South America."

The exercise included intensive training and coordination between American and Peruvian parachutists. The joint team worked diligently on refining their jump techniques, improving equipment handling and honing their ability to work seamlessly in high-stress, real-world scenarios. 

"We were tasked in the Department of Defense to align our activities and investments with a strategy of integrated deterrence," said Lt. Col. Robert Newton, Commander, 412th OSS. "While our mission within the Air Force Test Center is intentionally focused on materiel solutions to these difficult problem sets, Resolute Sentinel allowed our force in the 412th OSS to also work along a parallel line of effort—investing in our nation's network of allies and partners with some of the most professional parachutists in the Joint Force."

With a focus on combining combat training and civil-military operations, Resolute Sentinel 2023 serves as a vital platform to enhance cooperation between the U.S. and its partner nations. As U.S. and Peruvian forces concluded Resolute Sentinel, they expressed eagerness to build on the foundation of cooperation established during the exercise.

"That we were able to do so while gaining operationally relevant training in support of a geographic combatant commander made this opportunity particularly special," Newton said.

This international partnership serves as a testament to the enduring alliance between the U.S. and its allies, fostering mutual trust, cooperation, and readiness to respond to challenges on land, in the air, and beyond.