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IAAFA Wins 2019 EPME Center of the Year Award

International and American service members, Professional Military Education instructors, pose for a photo at the IAAFA headquarters building. From left to right, Major Ronand Castillo from El Salvador, Major Marcio Teixeira from Brazil, Major Eduardo Barajas, a flight commander from the US Air Force, Master Sgt. Aguedo Mendez a flight chief from the US Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. Elvis Garcia from Peru, and Master Sgt. Edwin Lara from Honduras.

International and American service members, Professional Military Education instructors, pose for a photo at the IAAFA headquarters building. From left to right, Major Ronand Castillo from El Salvador, Major Marcio Teixeira from Brazil, Major Eduardo Barajas, a flight commander from the US Air Force, Master Sgt. Aguedo Mendez a flight chief from the US Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. Elvis Garcia from Peru, and Master Sgt. Edwin Lara from Honduras.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Headquarters Air Force presented the Inter American Air Forces Academy with the 2019 Enlisted Professional Military Education Center of the Year Award, June 17, 2020. 

The award recognizes the outstanding performance and exceptional contributions made by the community of civilian and military instructors serving the Air and Space Force 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 years culminating in this recognition as the best EPME center of the year for the entire Air and Space Forces,” said Maj. Eduardo Barajas, 837 Training Squadron, director of operations. 

IAAFA’s primary mission is to teach PME to Spanish-speaking international military students in their native language, Spanish, for the purpose of enhancing interoperability between the United States and its partner nations. This partnership establish security cooperation between the US and global allies for today’s and future operations. The academy also has courses that Spanish-speaking USAF 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. IAAFA teaches all three of these academies entirely in Spanish to both its Latin-American military and Americans students who participate in their courses both here at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas as well as other 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 interests of the Air Education Training Command.

“The significance and success of this community requires 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 USAF Airmen to meet the challenges our Air Force confronts, both at home and abroad,” Barajas said. 

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

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