Air Guard increasing mission scope through training and support led by AgustaWestland
• First two flying officers promoted to command officers, allowing for independent missions
• Five engineers achieved full licensure by Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority
• Unit has now flown over 5,000 flight hours and is engaged in SAR, medevac, and maritime security missions
SAMARATE, Italy, 17-12-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland today congratulated the accomplishments of the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard, as the country’s first Search and Rescue helicopter unit promoted two pilots to Command Officers and recognized the licensure by the Trinidad & Tobago Civil Aviation Authority of five engineers now authorized to work independently on the four multi-mission AW139s in operation by the Air Guard.
Newly promoted Command Officers Christen Garnes and Kevin Maharaj, as well as Warrant Officers Vinod Sawh, Desi Geoffroy, Vinod Rambaran, Brent Nora, and Sergeant Jeremy Wilson were recognized in a ceremony at the Ulrich Cross Air Station that was attended by the Permanent Secretary of National Security Carl Francis and were joined by other officials from the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard, and industry partners. The promotions of the Air Guard personnel are a key milestone as the unit further expands its capabilities and mission profiles in Trinidad and Tobago and the surrounding region. As of November 2014, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has flown over 5,000 hours and has been instrumental in aiding in security during high-profile events, including Carnival, and conducted operational sorties to include day/night SAR missions (onshore and offshore), patrol and surveillance, firefighting, troop transportation and fast roping, life-saving medevac rescues, VIP transportation, disaster relief, and deck landings.
Following the establishment of the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard in 2005, and the subsequent deliveries of AW139s in 2011, a consortium led by AgustaWestland was established to manage the program in Trinidad and Tobago with training services to be supplied in Italy, the UK and the USA. Customer support, training, and logistics are managed by a dedicated AgustaWestland in-country program management team operating under a five-year support contract that runs through December 2015. Participation in joint operations among the land, sea and air formations of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force and other local, regional and international law enforcement and disaster relief agencies will drastically expand over the next year, as AgustaWestland meets and exceeds its support obligations to train the pilots and ground crew of the Air Guard.