JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston hosted members of the Jamaican Defence Force and 12th Air Force for a maintenance professional seminar May 31 to June 2.
The engagement brought together enlisted members and officers to exchange ideas and discuss best practices in topics such as maintenance, quality assurance, safety procedures and tool control.
“We’ve learned so much…and we’ve been able to share a lot of our own perspective,” said Maj. Noel Lewis, Jamaican Defence Force. “We’ve been able to gauge where we are (in relation to the U.S. Air Force) and either learn from what the U.S. Air Force has learned or recognize that these problems still exist, and just find ways to mitigate the problems based on their experiences.”
Though the academy primarily teaches Latin American partner nations in Spanish, instructors led the seminar in English for the Jamaican members -- an easy adjustment for the instructors who are all bilingual and handpicked from around the U.S. Air Force for special duty at IAAFA.
“These types of seminars are very conducive for security cooperation because they improve our partner nations' understanding of how we operate and also offer suggestions to streamline their processes to better align with ours,” said Capt. Briana Winslow, who helped lead the training for the 318th Training Squadron.
Last June, instructors from the 318th Training Squadron traveled to Jamaica as part of a mobile training team to assess the force’s maintenance processes. According to Winslow, the assessment laid the foundation for the JDF visit to IAAFA.
“I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve seen and I didn’t know that IAAFA was so diverse in terms of what it offered,” Lewis said. “It’s been very impressive to experience that, and also recognize that there’s a lot more.”
Lewis hopes that the post-pandemic environment will allow more face-to-face exchanges to strengthen interoperability and partnerships.
“When you meet face to face and they get to know you, see your personality and see what your challenges are, then further down the line, when you do want assistance, that changes the whole dynamic … the help they’re able to give is so much greater,” Lewis said.