12th AF (AFSOUTH) partners with UA Published June 22, 2017 By Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) hosted the first speaker series in their Academic Outreach Program with the University of Arizona at Club Ironwood, June 19. Marking the first phase of the program, Colin Deeds, University of Arizona Latin American Studies Center assistant director, shared his insight on Mexico and border security challenges. The intent of the speaker series is to facilitate the exchange ideas between government and academic institutions while fostering collaborative discussions about global issues. The first phase is focused on establishing a partnership between the University of Arizona and 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) with speaking engagements to include, but not limited to, lectures and guest speaker events. Brig. Gen. Bryan Radliff, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) mobilization assistant to the commander, compared the inaugural event to the early endeavors of the Wright brothers. They started out building bicycles and eventually were flying airplanes. “Start building a bicycle, turn that knowledge into an airplane, fly it off,” said Radliff. “Next thing you know, five years from now, we have a much more robust program, we have a mature audience and we have a much greater relationship with University of Arizona.” The second phase will involve discussions and recommended thesis research topics and presentations, while the third phase will involve directed research, joint 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and the University of Arizona seminars and research projects. Following the event, The University of Arizona officials were given a tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. “What we’re trying to do here is to build a closer partnership with the academic community and the expertise that’s right here in Tucson,” said Col. Jeffrey Huber, 12th Air Forces (Air Forces Southern) intelligence director. This 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Academic Outreach Program is modeled after U.S Southern Command’s partnership with Florida International University.