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UPDATED: 13:02, September 25, 2004
Four American countries to launch joint military exercises
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Brazil, Chile, Argentina and the United States next week will launch joint military exercises dubbed as Salitre aimed at training the eventual coalition forces under the command of the United Nations, the Brazilian Air Force (BAF) has announced.

The drills, which will be staged for 12 days in a desert area of north Chile, have been proposed by Chile in response to a call by the UN Security Council, local reports Friday quoted BAF Brigadier Jose Pereira as saying.

He added that the air forces from the four countries will join the military maneuver.

"The operation will serve to train our pilots. We're going to exchange experience with other countries," Pereira said.

The exercises will be fundamental to increase mutual confidenceamong the countries of the continent, Pereira said.

Six F5-E and one KC-135 plane (for air refueling) from the BAF,Mirage fighters from Argentina and Chile, and F-16s from the United States will be involved in the operation.

The brigadier said his country has already held similar exercises in Brazilian territory, like operations Cruzex, in 2003,with the participation of Chile, Argentina and France.

Operation Salitre is the second one in which the Brazilian military has participated outside the country. The first one, dubbed as Red Flag, was conducted in the United States in 1998.

Source: Xinhua

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