Brazil's Minas Gerais State Air Patrol Battalion marks 25 years of law enforcement service
Military Police unit flies mixed fleet for statewide police, firefighting and environmental protection duties.
Crewmembers with AS350B2 at PLU during IFR helicopter instruction in late 2010. (Standing L–R) F/W Pilot & IFR Instructor Angelo Crivellari, Helicopter Pilots Capt Edesio Amorim Anacleto, Capt Farley Rocha Soares (MG Fire Dept), Unit Sub-Commander Maj Benedito Timoteo dos Reis, Lt Col Rammon Dias Pereira (National Task Force), Maj Marcos de Oliveira Lara, Maj Rodrigo de Sousa Rodrigues and Maj Edvaldo dos Santos Francisco. (Front L–R) Capt Osvaldo de Souza Marques, Capt Marcelo Ramos de Oliveira, Capt Marcos Vander Ramos, Capt Pedro Luiz Santos (MG Fire Dept), Capt Leonardo Batista Simão, and former Unit Commander Col Laercio dos Reis Gomes.
In parallel with PMMG's growing fleet, the Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (SEMAD, or State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development) has acquired 2 new Esquilos to work specifically on environmental protection tasks.
These helicopters have been allotted the call signs Guará 01 and 02. SEMAD also operates an Embraer EMB711 Turbo Corisco (a licence-built Piper PA28R Turbo Arrow IV) with the call sign Guará 03.
AS350B2s and Bell JetRanger at PLU (Pampulha, Belo Horizonte MG, Brazil). The unit expects to take delivery of another AS350B2—call sign Pégasus 14—at the end of this year.
With 150 police officers, 8 helicopters and 2 fixed-wing airplanes, the unit has flown over 48,000 hrs to date.
In 2010 the battalion assisted in more than 1000 police cases.
Other tasks performed by the unit include fighting forest fires, transfer of personnel, and pilot and crew training. the unit's primary roles of law enforcement and protection of natural resources—as cause for celebration
In the latter activity, the battalion has Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) approval, and has contributed to training the military police of 14 Brazilian states, plus various federal and state agencies charged with police duties and fire prevention.
Capt Rigotti cites these activities—as well asand pride not only for members of the unit, but for the people of Minas Gerais State.
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