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Dyess builds foreign connection

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
From Air Force ABUs to Army ACUs, Dyess Air Force Base is filled with many different uniforms.

One uniform in particular may appear familiar at first glance, but a closer look reveals unfamiliar differences. A yellow, blue and red flag on the right shoulder, a star on the right collar, eagle on the left and a patch on the left shoulder reading "Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana."

When crossing paths with this uniform be prepared to salute because that is Ecuadorian air force Maj. Celio Puga, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Puga has been stationed at Dyess for more than a year as part of a program that allows foreign servicemembers the opportunity to learn from the U.S. Air Force.

"It's an excellent opportunity to learn from a partnered Air Force," Puga said. "The 317th Airlift Group is a very good organization, with people who like to work and are always striving for excellence."

Not only is this an opportunity for Puga to learn, it's an opportunity for Dyess Airmen to learn from him.

"I love having Major Puga in the squadron," said Master Sgt. Fryer, 317th Maintenance Squadron. "Every day he and I get to communicate. I learn more Spanish and he learns more English."

Furthermore, Puga has used this opportunity to develop is different aspects of his life.

"For me, it has been one of the best experiences of my life," Puga said. "It has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. In the professional field, it is unbelievable the knowledge that I have received as part of the U.S. Air Force and it lets me take new ideas to my country and apply them. In the personal field, my family and I are given the opportunity to experience another culture, different customs and traditions, not just in Texas, but other states we have visited."