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NEWS | March 7, 2018

Logistics and Materiel Management courses prepare IAAFA students

By Mary Nell Sanchez 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Recent graduate students from the Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland know firsthand behind every successful organization is a support group that can get things done.


These students successfully completed both of IAAFA’s International Logistics and Materiel Management courses in December 2017.


Students from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Honduras are now able to conduct foreign military sales in their respective countries after learning how to use different software and systems used in the U.S.


Master Sgt. Arturo Garcia, IAAFA International Logistics course instructor said his students are ready to jump into the world of purchasing equipment for their countries.


“If they buy an aircraft, they can track the shipment,” said Garcia.  


The course is standardized for all countries.


During classes, students get to visit four places where they can absorb and learn just what international logistics is all about. Recent graduates visited the Defense Logistics Agency at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston where they were able to see some of the products they may eventually purchase.


“We call them familiarization visits,” said Garcia.


The graduates also visited an implementing agency. This step helps them establish international contacts for future purchases, Garcia noted.


Students visit the 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron as well as the 433rd Airlift Wing at JBSA-Lackland to observe how business is conducted in the United States.


“Once they want to buy something — either a service, a product, or training — they have a point of contact in the U.S.,” Garcia added.


The International Logistics course teaches students how to get materiel. The Materiel Management course tells them what to do with it once they have it.


“[This course teaches] them about warehouse design, how to build [it] and maintain [it],” said Staff Sgt. Juan Del Castillo, IAAFA instructor of the Materiel Management course.


The first part of the course teaches students the technical aspects of getting things done: the codes, the repair cycle items, how they can [obtain repaired items] and how the United States Air Force [interacts with] different agencies, explained Del Castillo.


One of the most important lessons taught includes items that are repairable. Many items don’t need to be ordered repeatedly.


Giving his students hands-on experience is far better than just reading their course books, Del Castillo said. “At the end, they [complete a capstone event in which they build and design the warehouse themselves and do the warehouse assignments for each materiel.”


In the end, the combination of these two courses helps IAAFA’s vision of enduring strong friendships and security cooperation across the Americas with the Western Hemisphere.


With their understanding of how the U.S. Air Force operates, Del Castillo said students take their knowledge home and successfully implement it within their military.