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Honduran NCO Day builds partnership between two Air Forces

Lt. Col. James Wandmacher, 612th Air Base Squadron commander, kicks off Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day with a few words of encouragement for the Honduran and U.S. Air Forces, Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The day started with sporting events, teaching both air forces the lasting impact that camaraderie has on partnership and foreign relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Lt. Col. James Wandmacher, 612th Air Base Squadron commander, kicks off Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day with a few words of encouragement for the Honduran and U.S. Air Forces, Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The day started with sporting events, teaching both air forces the lasting impact that camaraderie has on partnership and foreign relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Service members from the Honduran and U.S. air forces participate in a game of basketball during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Throughout the day, service members representing both countries learned the importance of camaraderie and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Service members from the Honduran and U.S. air forces participate in a game of basketball during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Throughout the day, service members representing both countries learned the importance of camaraderie and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Senior Airman James Gomez, a 612th Air Base Squadron fuels technician, briefs Honduran Air Force service members during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The briefing was a stop at one of six locations where U.S. Air Force service members shared their knowledge with Honduran service members in order to encourage bi-lateral familiarity and build partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Senior Airman James Gomez, a 612th Air Base Squadron fuels technician, briefs Honduran Air Force service members during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The briefing was a stop at one of six locations where U.S. Air Force service members shared their knowledge with Honduran service members in order to encourage bi-lateral familiarity and build partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Staff Sgt. Alicia Freedman, a 612th Air Base Squadron weather forecaster, demonstrates the use of kestrels, hand-held weather meters, to members of the Honduran Air Force during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The event was organized to increase partnership capacity and teach the importance of camaraderie and teamwork between nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

Staff Sgt. Alicia Freedman, a 612th Air Base Squadron weather forecaster, demonstrates the use of kestrels, hand-held weather meters, to members of the Honduran Air Force during Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The event was organized to increase partnership capacity and teach the importance of camaraderie and teamwork between nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit)

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- -- The 612th Air Base Squadron and Honduran Air Force cadets participated in the first-ever Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day, Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The event kicked off with a few words of encouragement from Lt. Col. James Wandmacher, 612th ABS commander and Lt. Col. Jorge Gonzalez, director of the Aviation Technical School at Soto Cano AB.

The event, which started at 5:30 a.m. with a plethora of sports activities, combined the air forces to establish camaraderie and teamwork between the two countries' services. The Honduran NCOs also had the opportunity to tour the different areas managed by the 612th ABS.

"The Honduran Air Force really showed excitement at being able to tour some of our facilities," said Master Sgt. Ronald Lenz, the noncommissioned officer in charge of airfield automation management. "Our goal was to show the Honduran Air Force that we were proud of what we were doing."

Among the stops were the control tower, fuel station, air terminal operations center, airfield management and weather, and the fire department, where participants were briefed on the daily operations of each section the 612th ABS is responsible for.

At the end of the tour, the 612th ABS conducted a question and answer session consisting of a Staff Sgt., Tech Sgt. and Master Sgt., who answered questions pertaining to the difficulties of being a military service member and offered advice to those who sought it.

Among the Q&A participants, the most active were the female NCOs.

"The nine female Honduran Air Force members really opened up," said Lenz, noting their many questions and their willingness to speak up. Learning from each other's techniques and ideas, the two nations worked hand-in-hand to build on existing military relationships and bond over commonalities.

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