14 April, 2024


Military Aviators from all over the country contribute to the successful realization of the most important aerospace event in the continent.

The International Air and Space Fair has the particularity of being the first event of its kind organized entirely by an Air Force, which requires the deployment of thousands of Military Aviators from different Air Brigades throughout the country. Several weeks in advance, they began the work of support in logistics, food, security, maintenance, and a long list of work areas that require excellence.

The logistics of operations, from planning to implementation, is an extremely complex task in an event of this magnitude and must meet the needs of international delegations and companies during the first stage of the Fair and family audience during the weekend. Among the personnel that provides services in these tasks is the Airman First Class Barbara Alarcón, recently graduated from the Escuela de Especialidades "Sargento 1° Adolfo Menadier Rojas" as a Systems Mechanic. Since the beginning of March, she has been at the FIDAE premises.  "It has been a very nice experience, I have been able to meet many comrades, and I have learnt more about FIDAE itself and also more about my occupational specialty," says Airman First Class Alarcón.

During the preparation of the event, she supported in the movement, assembly and installation of the aircraft and once the exhibition was inaugurated, she has been working in the Access Gate N° 1. She is responsible for receiving the national authorities, special guests, international delegations, the press and the general public. "It has been a very pleasant experience, people have not had problems and have felt comfortable, and we also bring the Air Force closer to the people and make them interested in it," she says.

One of the most expected exhibitions by the public, the air shows are the ones that generate the most expectation. But in order for the aircraft and their pilots to get applause, on the ground there is a whole human team taking care of the safety standards and maintenance of the air material. Master Sergeant Fernando Castillo is a mechanic on ground fuel installation of the II° Air Brigade. His attention was focused on fuel quality control and delivery it to the aircraft, from reception, certification, and load of the product with the refueler trucks. "For us, during the phase prior to FIDAE, we do the planning of operations, but during the Fair itself, there is an increase in the load, and we must increase performance," says Sergeant Castillo. They provide 24-hour service and during the show they receive support from the personnel of the I° and V° Air Brigade, he added.

This is his ninth time in FIDAE, instances in which he has had the opportunity to get up close to aircraft that are unusual on the apron, such as the F-22 Raptor and the Airbus 350, along with the logistical preparation required to meet the requirements of these aircraft. "It is not the same to load an aircraft with 2,000 liters of fuel, than one like the KC-10, which on Sunday loaded 70,000 liters, so more personnel are needed to support the maneuvers. This group of people we work with has a very strong link with the occupational specialty and we generate a pleasant cohesion, forming a great human team, the times are well managed according to the planification and we can successfully execute the mission".

Given the large arrival of personnel at Pudahuel Air Base, the Base’s own work must be strengthened, as is the preparation of food. In that sense, Airman Jenifer Cisternas, cooking as  occupational specialty, has a responsibility to all his comrades. Used to working at the Garrison Casino, this is her first exhibition and since February, she has been providing services. "We have formed a very united team, supporting us constantly. Here the demand has been high, there are thousands of rations that must be prepared, so we must come ready to deliver everything so that all goes well, and people can receive a meal of excellence," she says. She also recognized that the workdays are very exhausting. "We are cooking from 7:30 in the morning to eight at night sometimes, all day here, we arrive at the house, sleep and come back, because food is super important. Comrades require strength and that depends fundamentally on us”, she said.

Nevertheless, they managed to organize themselves to be able to tour the Fair, "The air shows are what I like the most, especially the Halcones and the foreign aircraft. I would be very happy to work again in another FIDAE, getting to know and supporting other areas where work needs to be done", says Airman Cisternas.

Like them, there are thousands of Military Aviators who are part of this great organization, who work every day to give the best of themselves, guaranteeing the public that they will witness an event of the highest level, being able to learn more about aviation and the Chilean Air Force.