• Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo and his wife Jacqueline Pinto de Caruaco with Maria Carolina Arce and her husband Chilean Air Attache Orlando Franchi

    Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo and his wife Jacqueline Pinto de Caruaco with Maria Carolina Arce and her husband Chilean Air Attache Orlando Franchi

  • Colonel Riva Yanto and his wife Widi.

    Colonel Riva Yanto and his wife Widi.

  • A celebratory cake for the 86th anniversary of the Chilean Air Force

    A celebratory cake for the 86th anniversary of the Chilean Air Force

  • Chilean Air Attache Colonel Orlando Franchi

    Chilean Air Attache Colonel Orlando Franchi

  • Chilean Air Attache Colonel Orlando Franchi

    Chilean Air Attache Colonel Orlando Franchi

  • A toast to the Chilean Air Force.

    A toast to the Chilean Air Force.

  • Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo and Air Commodore Terry Delahunty

    Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo and Air Commodore Terry Delahunty

  • Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

    Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

  • Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

    Ambassador of Chile Daniel Carvallo

  • Air Commodore Terry Delahunty

    Air Commodore Terry Delahunty

  • MC Mark Parton

    MC Mark Parton

  • Petty Officer Claudio Fuentes, Marcella Manterola and Air Commodore Shaun Clarke

    Petty Officer Claudio Fuentes, Marcella Manterola and Air Commodore Shaun Clarke

  • Sofia Franchi, Rafael Zamorano, Catarina Zamorano and Javiera Franchi

    Sofia Franchi, Rafael Zamorano, Catarina Zamorano and Javiera Franchi

  • Brigadier Muhammad Asghar,Lieutenant Colonel Brent Reiffer and Squadron Leader Gokhan Tozman

    Brigadier Muhammad Asghar,Lieutenant Colonel Brent Reiffer and Squadron Leader Gokhan Tozman

  • Sofia and Javiera Franchi

    Sofia and Javiera Franchi

  • Squadron Leader Ray Plekker and Lieutenant Colonel Gary Miller

    Squadron Leader Ray Plekker and Lieutenant Colonel Gary Miller

  • Gladys Tenorio, Charge d'Affiares of Pargauay Pablo Esteban Bedoya, Ibelise Escobar and Ambassador of Mexico Aramando Alvarez

    Gladys Tenorio, Charge d'Affiares of Pargauay Pablo Esteban Bedoya, Ibelise Escobar and Ambassador of Mexico Aramando Alvarez

  • Colonel Antonio Coppola, Commodore Richard Powell and Colonel Alton Kilby

    Colonel Antonio Coppola, Commodore Richard Powell and Colonel Alton Kilby

  • Felipe Orellama and Carlos Oliveira

    Felipe Orellama and Carlos Oliveira

  • Carlos Moran Leon and Carla Schnettler

    Carlos Moran Leon and Carla Schnettler

  • Captain Raul Zamorano and Brigadier Andrew Freeman

    Captain Raul Zamorano and Brigadier Andrew Freeman

  • Petty Officer Claudio Fuentes and Jessica Alvarado.

    Petty Officer Claudio Fuentes and Jessica Alvarado.

  • Isabel Marambio, Giulietta Franchi and Olga Ormeno

    Isabel Marambio, Giulietta Franchi and Olga Ormeno

  • Colonel Ricardo Santiago, Captain Stew Holbrook and Jum Holbrook and Colonel Connor Canlas

    Colonel Ricardo Santiago, Captain Stew Holbrook and Jum Holbrook and Colonel Connor Canlas

  • Colonel Sowath Sokretya and Captain Raul Zamorano

    Colonel Sowath Sokretya and Captain Raul Zamorano

  • Ambassador of Peru Miguel Palomino and his wife Teresita Palomino

    Ambassador of Peru Miguel Palomino and his wife Teresita Palomino

Chile: Air Force Anniversary

22 March 2016

Chile is a sliver of a country on the west coast of South America that packs a formidable variety of terrain into a small area. Think Atacama Desert in the north, the Andes that form the north –south spine and down south spectacular glaciers, lakes and lots of rain. For the visitor the choices are extensive but for something akin to a moonscape, bucket list the Atacama Desert, an awesome area with salt lakes, geysers and volcanoes all accomplished in a day. Below freezing at the geysers and a test of courage and/or stupidity to take the pool plunge, while floating in the salt lakes is restorative and the active volcanoes a reminder of the volatility of this landscape.

But of course Chile is more than the sum of its physical beauty and they are a proud bunch with a military history they always celebrate here in Canberra with an annual ‘armed forces’ event and this year the commemoration of the 86th anniversary of the creation of the Chilean Air Force. It’s the day to polish up the brass and put on the braid as it brings out the best collection of military uniforms across the board as the military attaches from the international diplomatic representatives get to strut their stuff.

They bring out the piscos too which is a formidable test of restraint because the celebration is a midday one, but the pleasure of throwing caution to the wind and changing all afternoon plans to enjoy this most delicious of drinks has been one very easy to embrace. And there was cake too!

With toasts to Chile and Australia and a short DVD of the history and the hardware of the Chilean Air Force, there was a reminder from Colonel Orlando J Franchi, the Chilean Air Attache, of the rescue of the survivors of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes and the ensuing movie demonstrating the formidable requirements of their Air Force.