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NEWS | Nov. 16, 2022

IAAFA team renovates Leadership Reaction Course Complex

By Vanessa R. Adame 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

Inter-American Air Forces Academy staff and cadre rallied to renovate its Leadership Reaction Course Complex, better known as Project X. About 40 volunteers worked over 100 hours in just two weeks to repair, sand, and paint the 17 obstacles located at the Joint Base San Antonio-Chapman Training Annex.

IAAFA uses Project X as a key component of its International Professional Military Education curriculum; students from multiple nations and ranks apply leadership theory learned in the classroom to navigate and complete complex obstacles.

By doing the work themselves, mostly in 90-degree temperatures, members saved close to $20,000, reinforced safety standards, and brought three previously closed obstacles back online. Their work also ensured that international and U.S. Air Force IPME students will benefit from new safety equipment and training aids.

“The fact that all of IAAFA came together, rolled up their sleeves and made it happen in such a short time is also a notable accomplishment,” said Master Sgt. Karina Gonzalez, Director of Operations of Primary Military Education, who led the renovation project.

Gonzalez credits Jon D’Andrea, the 37th Training Wing Chief, Engineering and Facility Operations, and the Defense Language Institute English Language Center’s High Impact Program team for ensuring the team had the supplies needed to accomplish the job. 

Aside from building new structures, the project also helped build camaraderie.

“It brought people together to work on a project that is utilized by our partner nation students and enabled us to take pride in our facilities,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Cobo Bernal, who helped lead the project. “Everyone worked very well together.”

IAAFA’s Commandant, Col José Jiménez, Jr., noted that “the rapid infusion of funds and support from the 37th TRW facilitated much-needed repairs and reinforced the wing’s commitment to Air Education and Training Command’s Security Cooperation objectives.”