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IAAFA wins 2019 EPME Center of the Year Award

By Rachel Kersey | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | July 24, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

The Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland received the 2019 Enlisted Professional Military Education Center of the Year Award from Headquarters Air Force June 17.

The award recognizes the outstanding performance and exceptional contributions made by the community of civilian and military instructors serving the Air and Space Forces during the 2019 calendar year. 

“This award is the result of our efforts, dedication, and professionalism, from the instructors to the support staff in IAAFA, during the past year, culminating in this recognition as the best EPME center of the year for the entire Air and Space Forces,” said Maj. Eduardo Barajas, 837th Training Squadron director of operations. 

IAAFA’s primary mission is to teach PME to Spanish-speaking international military students in their native language for the purpose of enhancing interoperability between the United States and its partner nations.

This partnership establishes security cooperation between the U.S. and global allies for current and future operations. The academy also has courses that Spanish-speaking U.S Air Force Airmen are able to attend alongside international students. The EPME Center of the Year award recognizes excellence in the education of both sets of students.

“IAAFA strengthens international partnerships through education and training while promoting peace, democratic values, and respect for human rights in the Western hemisphere,” said Barajas.

IAAFA competed against at least 80 other similar institutions across the Air Force and Space Force. It distinguished itself for the award by being the only academy with all three levels of EPME -- Airman Leadership School, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.

The IAAFA teaches all three of these academies entirely in Spanish to both its Latin-American military and American students who participate in their courses both here at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, as well as at developmental opportunities taking place within host nations.

This work helps to foster an atmosphere of global cooperation, which is one of the main missions of the academy, and is of interest to the Air Education Training Command.

“The significance and success of this community require vision, preparation, and attention to ensure faculty and support personnel have the right knowledge, skills and abilities to develop and deliver a responsive and relevant continuum of enlisted education to prepare Airmen to meet the challenges our Air Force confronts, both at home and abroad,” Barajas said. 

More information about IAAFA can be found at:  https://www.37trw.af.mil/Units/Inter-American-Air-Forces-Academy/ or by following them on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/InterAmericanAirForcesAcademy/.