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AFSOUTH hosts Latin American Cadet Initiative

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz
  • 12th Air Force (Air Force Southern) Public Affairs

Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) hosted 24 cadets from 12 Latin American countries for a visit on behalf of the Latin American Cadet Initiative, Nov. 7.

The Latin American Cadet Initiative is an Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs program that began in 2006. The program invites the top two senior cadets from up to 15 Latin American Air Force academies to the U.S. for a three and a half week visit.

The cadets hailed this year from 12 Latin American countries to include: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru.

 “This all builds interoperability between our partners, not only are they learning about each other they are learning about the United States,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Landgrebe, SAF/IA country director. “When these cadets get their commission and serve in their Air Forces’, we can work together (with) stronger partnerships.”

The cadets started their trip to the U.S. with a visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy intermixed for a week with other international cadets. They then traveled to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Fort Lesley J McNair, Washington D.C.; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; U.S. Military Academy, New York; Joint-Base San Antonio, Texas; Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Lastly the cadets visited Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

“We’ve been able to visit various military installations where we were offered knowledge on different programs and different ways our countries cooperate,” said Dominican Republic Air Force cadet Francisco Del Jesus.

While here the cadets were introduced to 12th Air Force (Air Force Southern)’s mission and visited additional units on the base to include, System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA), the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, and saw an A-10 Thunderbolt II and HH-60 Pave Hawk up close during a static display.

 “This day has been great and interesting for the cadets, thank you very much,” Del Jesus said.