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    Inter-American Partnerships

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    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Janiqua Robinson | Albert Nieves poses for a portrait at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Nov. 30,...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Janiqua Robinson 

    Airman Magazine   

    The Inter-American Air Forces Academy’s mission, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, is to provide military education and training to military personnel of eligible partner nations. To accomplish this, IAAFA partners with 23 countries to teach 32 curricula to include professional military education, aircrew training and technical training.

    “Our partners are our best defense to counter shared threats, and the military-to-military training programs offered by IAAFA and other service academies are a vital means toward achieving the integrated deterrence necessary to defend our Western Hemisphere’s neighborhood of nations,” Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander, U.S. Southern Command. "I know that if we continue to jointly strive to enhance our spirit of unity and cooperation, we will continue to build a region of unmatched progress, peace, and prosperity.”

    The students and instructors featured were photographed and interviewed on their first day of a 12-week Pilot Instrument Procedure Course, or PIP-C. Among many other lessons and skills, these students will learn instrument flight fundamentals, advanced navigation procedures and how to manage irregular situations in instrumental meteorological conditions, all while the class utilizes fixed-wing simulators.

    IAAFA has changed names and locations a few times since it was founded on March 15, 1943. A request from Peru’s Minister of Aeronautics, Gen. Fernando Melgar asked the U.S. to deploy mechanics to train Peruvian airmen on the technical skills required in repairing and maintaining the aircraft engines they donated. As a result, 11 Peruvian students at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, became the first U.S. aeronautics training class in Latin America.

    IAAFA courses are taught exclusively in Spanish, which saves time and money for both the U.S. Air Force and partner nations by eliminating the need for a longer course that would also teach the students English. For PIP-C, each instructor applicant is interviewed to ensure they can effectively communicate the technical and intricate details of flight procedures in Spanish. Applicants can come from various allied air forces, but before these partner nation instructors can begin to teach, they must graduate from the 12-week Instructor Pilot Instrument Procedures Course. This course combines the technical and regulation knowledge the students receive in PIP-C with additional lessons in instructional methods, flight evaluation, supervision of classroom instruction, and the standardization cadre development, lesson plans and student evaluation.

    “When you look at the people that come through IAAFA, these nations are sending us the best of the best,” explained Col. José Jiménez Jr., IAAFA commandant. “If you start tracking these individuals for five or 10 years, you’ll find that they become wing commanders, they become generals, they become chief master sergeants. That tells me that not only are we providing good training to help these folks grow, but also that these countries see the importance of an academy like IAAFA.”

    IAAFA is continuously evolving based on what the partner nations are looking for and where the trends in global security cooperation are projected to go. This means adapting the curriculum to include cyber disciplines, incorporating innovative technology to enhance training and ensuring the instructors are disciplined and motivated professionals.

    "At the end of the day, it’s not the simulators, it’s not the curriculum,” Jiménez stressed. “It’s the individual interactions that we provide our partners that make the largest difference."



    Date Taken: 01.09.2023
    Date Posted: 11.15.2023 10:09
    Story ID: 457861

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