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NEWS | Feb. 27, 2018

International symposium to promote shared information

By Mary Nell Sanchez 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will host international leaders and representatives for the upcoming Western Hemisphere Exchange Symposium, scheduled March 14-16 in San Antonio, Texas.


The symposium will also coincide with the 75th anniversary of IAAFA’s existence.


Plans for the symposium and an anniversary dinner have been going on since last year in order to make both events memorable, according to Lt. Col. Pedro Matos, deputy commandant of IAAFA.


“It’s all hands on deck. An event of this magnitude…everyone has to pitch in,” Matos said.


The symposium will feature sessions in four areas. They include shared practices and lessons learned in aircraft maintenance and sustainment, airspace command and control, drug control operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


“If you look at the themes, this is all about operations,” Matos said. “This is all about working together. It’s all about sharing information and learning from each other.”


IAAFA students will also be attending the symposium.


“Everything we do here has to have a purpose,” Matos noted. “Every single class, every single mobile training team, every single engagement has to have a reason behind it. It has to be measurable.”


Approximately 250 guests are expected to attend the dual event. The anniversary dinner is being held at the Omni La Mansion del Rio on the River Walk. 


Scheduled keynote speaker is Maj. Gen. Jon A. Norman, chief of staff of the United States Southern Command.


Dignitaries will start arriving in San Antonio March 13.