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On Friday February 15, 2013, ten students graduated from the "Search and Rescue Planning" course at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) in San Antonio, Texas. The training concepts taught in this course focus on planning for a search and rescue mission, and include how to hone a distress signal, how to coordinate search and rescue efforts with other agencies, the mathematical calculations on how wind, sea currents, or debris drift affect a lost vessel or airplane, and how to manage a search and rescue command post. The newly-graduated students come from the Mexican Navy, Mexican Federal Police, Panamanian Public Forces, Colombian Air Force - and for the first time in IAAFA's 69-year history - a student from the Royal Moroccan Air Force. This course emulates the Maritime Search and Rescue Planning Course taught at the U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Search and Rescue School. The only significant difference is that this course is taught in Spanish, as IAAFA's 33 other courses. These graduates now join an elite club of more than 44,000 alumni of the academy. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
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