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Airmen from across Latin America at Davis-Monthan for SICOFAA Committee

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Members of the System of Cooperation Among Americas Air Forces, or SICOFAA, met last week at Davis-Monthan AFB to participate in the A-III Operations Committee meeting with 11 Latin American Air Forces. The meetings focused on development of an upcoming humanitarian support exercise and restructuring the organization to better support the requirements of the respective Air Chiefs.

One of the top agenda items was the upcoming multi-lateral Cooperation One exercise to be held in Chile in early October of 2010. Cooperation One will bring 17 Air Forces together for a simulated humanitarian response-type event. The group recently conducted a virtual version of the exercise and will use results as the basis for continued planning toward the October 2010 exercise.

Founded in 1961, SICOFAA is a voluntary and non-political organization interested in promoting cooperation and union among Western Hemisphere air forces. The A-3 Operations Committee is one of five committees hosted every year by one of the 18 member Air Forces. Committees conduct annual conferences and workshops to share information and discuss cooperation on topics assigned or approved by the Air Chiefs.

"This meeting has been extremely productive," said Maj. Hector Lopez, the USAF SICOFAA Liaison Officer from the Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs Americas division. "Every one of the delegates is committed to the success of the Cooperation One exercise and to continuing the open dialogue between Airmen for which SICOFAA has stood for during the last 49 years."

The SAF/IA team is a strong advocate for SICOFAA initiatives and leads many of the relationship and capability-building activities with the group, explained Major Lopez.

The U.S. Air Force is an active member of SICOFAA and primarily supports the organization by sponsoring the SICOFAA Permanent Secretariat office at Andrews AFB. The primary function of this office is to provide day-to-day functional and administrative interface among the member air forces. Col. Andy Stark is the current Secretary General and has direct access to all member Air Force Chiefs.

The Deputy Secretary General position is normally held for a period of two years and rotates among the SICOFAA member nations; a Brazilian Air Force O-6, Col. Marco Guasti is currently serving in the position.

The next SICOFAA meeting will take place in a different member nation in early March.

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