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Home : News : News
NEWS | July 23, 2013

Students celebrate Colombian Independence Day at IAAFA

By Staff Sgt. Marissa Tucker JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

Colombian students at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy held an Independence Day celebration July 18 to commemorate the day Colombia gained independence from Spain.

The ceremony, held in the IAAFA auditorium, celebrated the rich heritage of Colombia, the efforts of their military forces and honored those who lost their lives in the fight for independence. Honoring the fallen is a tradition in the Colombian military, said Lt. Col. Juan Mosquera, the highest ranking Colombian student at IAAFA and the organizer of the ceremony.

It was important for the students to celebrate Colombian Independence Day while attending IAAFA, said Mosquera, who believes it shows pride in their home country and their predecessors for gaining independence from Spain July 20, 1810. By celebrating with Americans, it shows dedication to their country and gratitude to IAAFA for hosting the courses that will help improve their military for years to come, he said.

Activities included a speech from Mosquera on the history of Colombia and several videos that captured the essence of the South American country by discussing its resources and accomplishments, and displaying how Colombian armed forces protect citizens against crime.

Colombian students organized the entire event with support from the IAFFA staff, which facilitates all celebrations and memorials for the partner nation countries, said Master Sgt. Andrew Salazar, IAAFA student affairs flight chief. Supporting each nation's cultural traditions helps strengthen the bond between the students and the staff, which in turn fosters better relations with South American partners.

The mission of IAAFA is to train and educate military forces to build and enable partner nation capacity that supports global security and stability. The school's primary focus is to provide noncommissioned officers and squadron officer candidates from South American countries leadership skills that will enhance their tactics and processes and strengthen the working relationship between the nations.