Read Time1 Minute, 11 Second
BEJA AIR BASE, Portugal – Hawks are playing a special role in ensuring NATO pilots and aircrew are safe during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015.
Every morning at the Air Base in Beja, Portugal, south of the capital Lisbon, these special birds are launched first before any aircraft operations begin. The base’s birds of prey are an essential element of flight safety and they are controlled by the base falconer, Mr. Victor Guerreiro
“The hawks are released before any other air activity begins”, says Guerreiro. Adding, “I take the birds out early each morning and as required I do patrols during the day to ensure the jets deployed here can launch with minimum risk.”
Besides hawks he also has Harris Hawks, Accipiter Gentilis, Falco Rusticolusx and Falco peregrines in his falconry. Guerreiro has been doing this job for seven years. His goal is simple: to keep other birds away from the runways and taxiways.
The Beja Air Base falconer also works closely together with the base firefighters. They are also committed to ensuring flight safety. Their role is essential, especially now as over 40 NATO and partner aircraft take off and land during countless sorties as part of Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s largest exercise in over a decade.
L. J. De Rothschild