DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- --
Cadets from 13 Latin American air forces spent a day with members from Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group during a visit Oct. 13.
The cadets are visiting various Air Force bases throughout the U.S. as part of the Latin American Cadet Initiative. The program, managed by the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, allows the top two senior cadets from 13 Latin American air force academies to visit the U.S. for three weeks. This year’s cadets hailed from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
This was the 10th year in which cadets from Latin American air forces visited Davis-Monthan AFB and engaged with U.S. Air Force personnel.
"This initiative is an investment in the future security in our hemisphere,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. David Estrem, SAF/IA liaison officer. “By inviting the future from our partner nation’s respected air force academies, and giving them a diverse, month-long immersion in U.S. culture, military, and history, we are forging bonds that will last forever."
During their visit to Davis-Monthan AFB, the cadets were briefed about the AFSOUTH mission and the System of Cooperation Among Air Forces (SICOFAA), and toured the 309th AMARG and an A-10 static display. The day ended with a presentation from cadets from Detachment 20, Reserve Officer Training Corp at the University of Arizona.
"For me, this has been a once in a life time opportunity to build both international relations and lifelong friendships with cadets from some of the other Latin American countries, while also learning about the U.S. Air Force and the way they execute their mission," said Uruguayan air force academy cadet Joaquín Bonilla Rodríguez.