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AFSOUTH, AFNORTH host Central American Air Chiefs Conference

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kerry Jackson
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, and Maj. Gen. Henry Morrow, the 1st Air Force (Air Forces North) commander, hosted a Central American Air Chiefs Conference here Friday for six air chiefs from Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The conference allowed the air chiefs to participate in round-table discussions about issues, threats and cooperation efforts of multi-national concern to Caribbean and Central American Air Forces, as well as Air Forces Southern.

"This conference is a key element in Air Forces Southern's engagement efforts throughout the region," said General Seip. "This event is an opportunity to connect directly with Central American Air Chiefs while discussing issues affecting our air forces in this region of [U.S. Southern Command's] Area of responsibility."

During the conference, the air chiefs were briefed on a wide range of topics, including future AFSOUTH missions in Latin America, humanitarian support, medical missions and construction projects. The group also discussed other efforts to strengthen relationships between attendees, such as a Subject Matter Exchange program. The exchange would involve eight to 10 foreign-military experts sharing information on mutually agreed topics such as flight safety, personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, information processing, plus others.

"The overall result of the conference was a resounding success as all the objectives were met," said Mr. Tyrone Barbery, the secretary of the conference and the AFSOUTH Deputy Chief, Theater Security Cooperation. "The air chiefs in attendance were pleased with the conference because it allowed for a free-flow exchange of ideas. They thanked Lt. Gen. Seip and Maj. Gen. Morrow for their hospitality and their efforts to move forward with the meeting's planned objectives."

The air chiefs also discussed Air Forces North Security Cooperation issues focusing on information sharing, cross-border wildfire cooperation, Night Vision Goggle Operations, Unmanned Aerial Systems operations, as well as future engagement opportunities.

Following the briefings, the air chiefs participated in a round-table discussion. Topics focused on the Flight Safety Symposia and the Air Force Modernization program (a program to assist Central and South American nations in modernizing aircraft inventories by using a cost-sharing and regionalized approach), the Air Surveillance Regional System, regional exercises and emerging threats.

Air Forces Southern, headquartered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., the Air component to U.S. Southern Command, oversees Air Force assets, five forward operating locations, and civil and military engagements in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility - which includes Central and South America and the Caribbean. AFSOUTH is also responsible for the combat readiness of one of five Falconer Combined Air and Space operation centers in the U.S. Air Force.

Air Forces Northern, headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, near Panama City, Florida, conducts operations to deter, prevent and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories and interests within their assigned area of responsibility. The command also, as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, provides military assistance to civil authorities including consequence management operations.