Kentucky maintenance troops share knowledge with Ecuadoran counterparts

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Story by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

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Ecuadoran Capt. Telmo M. Aguilar, 1st Lt. Fredy L. Luzuriaga and Sgt. Ernesto A. Pinzon get on board "Kentucky Thunder" during a visit to the Kentucky National Guard Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site in Fort Knox, Ky. (photo by Maj. Shawn Keller, State Partnership Program)

FRANKFORT, Ky. —   North met south recently when Kentucky National Guardsmen hosted members of the Ecuadoran military during a series of best practice exchanges focusing on vehicle maintenance and inventory control processes.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Craig Evans, supervisory equipment specialist, goes through the maintenance inspection process of a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle with the members of the Ecuadorian military at a visit on Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky. (photo by 1st Lt. Oscar Ortiz)

The Ecuadoran troops visited the combined surface maintenance shop in Frankfort, the field maintenance shops in Richmond and Louisville as well as the Kentucky National Guard maneuver area training equipment site at Fort Knox., Aug. 22-26.

“It has been a very productive visit,” said Capt. Telmo Aguilar, Ecuador Army maintenance officer.

Each facility offered unique tours through their buildings, and maintenance shops and giving the Ecuadoran Soldiers a chance to observe the daily operations and share experiences with their Kentucky Guard counterparts.  While at the facilities the visitors also received briefings and took part in maintenance demonstrations with the Guardsmen and visited a static display of equipment set up at the MATES facility.

The Kentucky National Guard has been conducting collaborative training events like these for more than 20 years.  The State Partnership Program provides interchanges with input from multiple sources, including the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador, U.S. Southern Command and the adjutant general of Kentucky.

Ecuadoran Capt. Telmo M. Aguilar, 1st Lt. Fredy L. Luzuriaga, and Sgt. Ernesto A. Pinzon confer with Lt. Col. Tim Pickerrell with the help of interpreter 1st Lt. Oscar Ortiz. Aguilar, Luzuriaga and Pinzon were part of a contingency visiting Kentucky National Guard maintenance facilities in an exchange of best maintenance practices. (photo by Maj. Shawn Keller, Kentucky National Guard State Partnership director)

The program provides a symbiotic benefit to all parties involved.  The focus of this exchange allowed subject matter experts from the Kentucky National Guard and the Ecuadoran Army to work together in order to implement a robust tactical vehicle maintenance program.

In addition to the exchange of military knowledge, the soldiers from Ecuador were also given the opportunity to experience a taste of Kentucky culture.  The group went to a Louisville Riverbats Game, toured the Woodford Reserve and visited the General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox.

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