MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.-- Air University international alumni from 30 countries were honored for their military and civilian career achievements at a recognition ceremony, April 13, 2022.
The alumni were inducted into the Chief of Staff and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force International Honor Roll. The cohort of 41 inductees included 34 graduates of officer professional military education programs and seven graduates of enlisted PME programs.
Induction into the IHR pays tribute to those Air University graduates who later attained a prominent position in their respective country’s military or government.
The ceremony marks the first time in the IHR’s 34-year history that enlisted graduates have been inducted.
It also marks the first time that the offices of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, in coordination with the Air Force Office of International Affairs, have sponsored the IHR. In the past, Air University was the sponsoring organization.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass hosted the ceremony.
“Our international partners send the best of their best to Air University,” said Brown. “Attending a school at AU is a significant milestone in their careers. Academically and professionally, we all benefit from the unique global and regional perspectives brought to our classrooms, and the personal relationships developed can last a lifetime and reap huge rewards for us all. It is an honor and a privilege to formally recognize their accomplishments both while in the military or in a civilian capacity.”
Established by Secretary of the Air Force Edward Aldridge, Jr. in 1988, the International Officer School at Air University designed the IHR to facilitate senior-level military leader engagement with international partners and to further strengthen coalition alliances.
“It’s a great honor for me to be inducted,” said Maj. Gen. Carl-Johan Edstrom, commander of the Swedish Air Force and 2014 graduate of Air War College. “What the year here gave me, of course, is the academia and education to be a more strategic leader. But most important are the networks and real friends and an understanding of global societies of different countries. These have been with me all the time since I graduated.”
As the Air Force’s top senior enlisted leader, Bass praised the accomplishments of her international peers being recognized for the first time.
“Inducting our enlisted partners for the first time into the International Honor Roll is a momentous occasion,” she said. “The honor bestowed speaks volumes to their professional accomplishments and the future potential in leading, guiding and influencing the respective enlisted corps. It’s my high honor to work alongside them as we continue building upon our strong partnerships.”
In a separate ceremony later in the day, Bass officially dedicated the new International Honor Roll wall for enlisted inductees at the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell’s Gunter Annex. The enlisted inductees are all graduates of the SNCOA.
“It’s an honor to be inducted,” said Chief Master Sgt. Zsolt Berek, chief master sergeant of the Air Force, Hungarian Defense Forces, and who graduated from AFSNCOA in 2016. “Especially, if you think about it being the first time NCOs are recognized as well. This is the first time we are being recognized with the officers, so it means a lot.”
To be nominated for the IHR, enlisted inductees must have graduated in-resident from the AFSNCOA, while officer inductees must have attended in-residence and graduated from at least one of Air University’s officer professional military education programs: Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, Air War College or School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Since its inception, 510 officers from 99 countries have been inducted into the IHR. Over the last 10 years, about 8% of international officer Air University graduates have attained the highest military office or served in prominent civilian positions within their countries.
Each year, more than 250 international students graduate from Air University professional military or continuing education programs.
The enlisted inductees and the year attended SNCOA:
- Command Sgt. Maj. Vladimir Blažek, Czech Republic, Command Senior Enlisted Leader Training Command-Military Academy, SNCOA 2009
- Chief Master Sgt. Janis Jallai, Estonia, Chief Master Sergeant of the Estonian Air Force (2014-2019), SNCOA 2010
- Chief Master Sgt. Andres Riisaar, Estonia, Chief Master Sergeant of the Estonian Air Force, SNCOA 2013
- Chief Master Sgt. Zsolt Berek, Hungary, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Hungarian Defense Forces, SNCOA 2016
- Retired Chief Warrant Officer Saif Aldeen Moh'D Ibraheem Al-Dammin, Jordan, Royal Jordanian Air Force Chief Warrant Officer, SNCOA 2014
- Command Sgt. Maj. Alvydas Tamošiūnas, Lithuania, Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the Lithuanian Air Force, SNCOA 2009
- Chief Master Sgt. Hans Hutmacher, Switzerland, Command Chief Master Sergeant of Joint Operations Command (2018-2020), SNCOA 2012
The officer inductees and the AU school(s) and year(s) attended:
- Gen. Xavier Julian Isaac, Argentina, Chief of the General Staff of the Argentine Air Force, ACSC 2001
- Ambassador Dr. Nikolay H. Yankov, PhD, Bulgaria, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, ACSC 1997
- Gen. Ramses Rueda Rueda, Colombia, Commander, Colombian Air Force, AWC 2009
- Maj. Gen. Petr Hromek, Czech Republic, Czech National Military Representative, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SOS 2000, AWC 2011
- Maj. Gen. Leonel A. Muñoz Noboa, Dominican Republic, Dominican Air Force Commanding General, SOS 1996
- Col. Pablo Alberto Soriano Cruz, El Salvador, Chief of Staff of Salvadorian Air Force, ACSC 2008
- Retired Col. Manuel Fabio Calderon Menendez, El Salvador, Chief of Staff of Salvadorian Air Force (2019-2020), ACSC 2006
- Brig. Gen. Rauno Sirk, Estonia, Commander, Estonian Air Force, ACSC 2003, AWC 2015
- Air Vice Marshal, Frank Hanson, Ghana, Chief of Air Staff, Ghana Air Force, AWC 2016
- Lt. Gen. Themistoklis Bourolias, Greece, Chief, Hellenic Tactical Air Force, SOS 1994
- Retired Lt. Gen. Nikolaos-Dimitrios Christopoulos, Greece, Chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, SOS 1994
- Col. of Aviation Armando Martinez Rueda, Honduras, Chief of Staff of Honduran Air Force, ACSC 2009
- Maj. Gen. Nándor Kilián, Hungary, Air Force Inspector, Hungarian Defense Forces, AWC 2002
- Gen. IZUTSU, Shunji, Japan, Chief of Staff, Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force), ACSC 1997
- Retired Gen. MARUMO, Yoshinari, Japan, Chief, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, AWC 2003
- Retired Maj. Gen. Zaid A. Neqresh, Jordan, Royal Jordanian Air Force Commander, (2019-2021), SOS 1995
- Col. Viesturs Masulis, Latvia, Latvian Air Force Commander, ACSC 2013
- Col. Nenad Pavlović, Montenegro, Air Force Advisor to the Minister of Defense, ACSC 2015
- Lt. Col. Bojan Blagojević, Montenegro, Commander, Montenegro Air Force, ACSC 2018
- Retired Col.-Maj.Hamza Issa, Niger, Deputy Secretary General to the Minister of National Defense, ACSC 1996
- Air Vice Marshal Khamis Hammad Al Ghafri, Oman, Commander, Royal Air Force of Oman, AWC 2015
- Retired Lt. Gen. Rozzano Dosado Briguez, Philippines, Commanding General, Philippine Air Force, AWC 2012
- Maj. Gen. Jacek Pszczola, Poland, Inspector of the Polish Air Force, ACSC 2004
- Maj. Gen. Cezary Wisniewski, Poland, Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, SOS 2003, AWC 2014
- Maj. Gen. Hamad Mubarak al-Nabit, Qatar, Commander, Qatar Emiri Air Defense Forces, AWC 2005
- Gen. Won In-choul, Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, SOS 1990
- Maj. Gen. Viorel Pană, Romania, Chief of the Romanian Air Force Staff, SOS 1996
- Lt. Gen. Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, Commander, Royal Saudi Air Force, SOS 1988
- Maj. Gen. Khong Boon Leong Kelvin, Singapore, Chief of Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, ACSC 2008
- Lt. Col. Marven D. van Huisduinen, Suriname, Commander, Suriname Air Force, SOS 2004
- Maj. Gen. Carl-Johan Eström, Sweden, Commander, Swedish Air Force, AWC 2014
- Air Chief Marshal Napadej Dhupatemiya, Thailand, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, ACSC 1996
- Retired Air Chief Marshal Dejudom Kongsri, Thailand, Assistant Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, AWC 2006
- Maj. Gen. Mohamed Hajem, Tunisia, Chief of Staff of the Tunisian Air Force, AWC 2005