The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) has a new flying squadron: Esquadrao 506, codenamed “Rhinoceros”. The group will fly the Brazilian Embraer KC-390 Millenium.
The squadron activation ceremony took place at Air Base No. 11, in Beja, in a ceremony presided over by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CEMFA), General Joao Cartaxo Alves. In the presence of the superior structure of the Air Force, Pilot Pilot Major Miguel Bossa was appointed Commander of the 506th Squadron – “Rhinoceros”.
Addressing the soldiers who now make up 506 Squadron, CEMFA spoke with the emotion of a “A dream come true”representing the 506th Squadron, a symbol of modernity and the beginning of an air force in the future.
Create this squadron “It is based on three pillars: state-of-the-art systems and infrastructure, highly qualified people and cutting-edge air power at the forefront”which forms a triangle whose vertex is “completing the mission”. In closing words, CEMFA called “Tighten our belts in this journey towards modernity, the future, the new technology.”
Already invested as squadron leader, Major Miguel Bossa highlighted the challenges ahead for Rhinoceros, “For the responsibility that comes with being the first European country and the second in the world to operate the KC-390. Under the watchful eye of everyone, we will be challenged not only to accomplish the tasks that will be assigned to us, but also to improve and deepen the operational use of the aircraft, in order to raise the KC -390 and 506 Squadrons to references in the air transport range”he finished.
The ceremony also included handing over the Lady of the Air and the Banner. After visiting the new station facilities, CEMFA signed the 506 Squadron’s Book of Honor.
Under the slogan “Just what seemed impossible.”The 506th Squadron will soon be formally equipped with the KC-390, with the mission of carrying out air operations within general airlift range, firefighting, and aerial refueling.
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