Defending the Amazon: Inside Brazilian Army Aviation Command

Dirk Jan de Ridder visits the Brazilian Army Aviation Command in the heart of the Amazon, 30 years after it permanently started operating helicopters from the capital of the rainforest

“Before starting my briefing on the 4th Army Aviation Battalion, let me ask you to imagine a group of soldiers being attacked by guerrillas at the border of the country in a remote area of the rainforest and your helicopters are located 3,600 kilometres away. You will be incapable of providing air support to the conflict.” Not many briefings start like a Tom Clancy thriller, but this Black Hawk captain certainly knew how to draw a crowd’s attention. He described the events that actually formed the beginnings of the 4th Army Aviation Battalion in the early 1990s.


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