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AFSOUTH Airmen increase partner nation capabilities during subject matter expert exchanges in El Salvador

Maj. Douglas Pietersma, from the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) intelligence directorate, briefs members of the El Salvadorian Air Force during a subject matter expert exchange at Ilopango AB, El Salvador, April 2, 2014.  The subject matter expert exchange occurred from April 1-4 and included topics on imagery collection and processing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Redman/Released)

Maj. Douglas Pietersma, from the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) intelligence directorate, briefs members of the El Salvadorian Air Force during a subject matter expert exchange at Ilopango AB, El Salvador, April 2, 2014. The subject matter expert exchange occurred from April 1-4 and included topics on imagery collection and processing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Redman/Released)

Members of the El Salvadorian Air Force ask questions and take notes during a subject matter expert exchange at Ilopango AB, El Salvador, April 2, 2014.  The subject matter expert exchange occurred from April 1-4 and included topics on imagery collection and processing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Redman/Released)

Members of the El Salvadorian Air Force ask questions and take notes during a subject matter expert exchange at Ilopango AB, El Salvador, April 2, 2014. The subject matter expert exchange occurred from April 1-4 and included topics on imagery collection and processing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Redman/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- Airmen from the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) participated in several subject matter expert exchanges with El Salvador Air Force (FAS) counterparts to discuss intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs and procedures April 1-4.

The Salvadoran Air Force and U.S. Airmen were able to achieve a number of goals as they combined their experience and expertise to address communication issues as well as imagery collection and analysis over a two-day period at Ilopango Air Base.

12th AF (AFSOUTH) Airmen supported this mission by assisting in a variety of ways, from lending Airmen's experience to partner nations, to providing recommendations on establishing new programs and processes.

The subject matter expert exchange has been an opportunity for Airmen from both Air Forces to learn more about their own job specialties from each other.

"All too often we get caught up in the mindset of 'I don't have the proper equipment.' Working alongside the FAS has taught me that a little bit of knowledge and a lot of ingenuity can result in a successful mission," said Staff Sgt. Heather Redman, 12th AF (AFSOUTH) Public Affairs.

Working side-by-side with their Salvadoran Air Force counterparts proved to be a good way for the U.S. Airmen to get to know members of another country's Air Force.

"Subject matter expert exchange allows us to discuss practices between both of our countries to enhance partner nation capabilities so they can meet their national security objectives," said Capt. Saul Ramos, the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) desk officer that plans Air Force engagements and exchanges with El Salvador.

The U.S. and El Salvador's bilateral military relationship is distinguished by cooperation programs, like subject matter expert exchanges, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and peacekeeping operations.

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