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AFSOUTH team receives honors from Air Forces in Peru, Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, and General del Aire Don Ricardo Ortega Perrier, the Chilean Air Force Commander in Chief, return a salute during an award ceremony last month honoring the ongoing AFSOUTH contributions to the readiness of the Chilean Air Force. General Seip accepted the Chilean Air Force's Aeronautical Medal of Merit on behalf of the AFSOUTH team; the award is currently on display at the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) headquarters. (Courtesy Photo)

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, and General del Aire Don Ricardo Ortega Perrier, the Chilean Air Force Commander in Chief, return a salute during an award ceremony last month honoring the ongoing AFSOUTH contributions to the readiness of the Chilean Air Force. General Seip accepted the Chilean Air Force's Aeronautical Medal of Merit on behalf of the AFSOUTH team; the award is currently on display at the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) headquarters. (Courtesy Photo)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- During the final weeks of April, the Air Forces Southern team was honored with a pair of decorations noting the fraternity and commitment between AFSOUTH Airmen and their counterparts in Latin America. Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, the Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, accepted the awards on behalf of the AFSOUTH team during a recent visit to the region.

"This pair of medals, from two strong partner nation Air Forces, is a tribute to the more than 1,000 men and women who work tirelessly within the AFSOUTH area of focus," said General Seip. "It's my pleasure to bring these back to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and share the two decorations with our team."

While in Peru on official business, General Seip met with Peruvian Air Force Commanding General Pedro Minaya, in Lima. The Peruvian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea del Peru, or FAP) presented the "Maj. Gen. Armando Revoredo Inglesias Medal -- Grand Cross Category" to General Seip during a one-hour ceremony attended by more than 50 FAP Airmen, including every general officer in the FAP. The Maj. Gen. Inglesias Medal is the highest honor in its class awarded by the FAP and was given as an expression of gratitude for the valuable support and cooperation AFSOUTH has provided to the Peruvian Air Force.

During the award presentation, General Minaya commented on the strong relationship between the Air Forces, reflecting on exercises such as Falcon Condor, New Horizons and various subject matter exchanges.

"Our Air Force maintains with the U.S. a permanent exchange of experiences, training and instruction through combined operations that has allowed our personnel to reach higher levels of professionalism, making it easier to accomplish the goal of common objectives which are stability for our nations and a united front against terrorism, narcotrafficking and corruption," said General Minaya. (Original quote in Spanish, translated to English by AFSOUTH staff)

On the next stop in the itinerary, the Chilean Air Force awarded the Aeronautical Medal of Merit to the AFSOUTH team. General del Aire Don Ricardo Ortega Perrier, the Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, or FACh) Commander in Chief, cited the ongoing AFSOUTH contributions to the readiness of the FACh, resulting in a strengthening of the bonds of friendship between Airmen and a marked increase in training opportunities for FACh Airmen.

AFSOUTH recently completed Operation Southern Partner in Chile, a week-long subject matter exchange involving more than 70 Airmen from 25 career fields. In addition, AFSOUTH has conducted numerous joint exercises, including NEWEN, WILLKA, and in October 2010, SALITRE. Airmen have also been involved in several successful medical deployments for training and Cooperation Team events with the FACh.

The two medals are currently on display in the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) headquarters. "These honors, medals and citations are ours to share," concluded General Seip. "I'm honored to be part of the AFSOUTH team -- together, we're building a lasting partnerships in Latin America one Airman at a time ... these awards are recognition that your hard work is valued and appreciated."

Editor's Note: For more information on Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) engagements with the Peruvian Air Force and Chilean Air Force visit www.12af.acc.af.mil

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