Air Force chief of staff collaborates with counterparts at CONJEFAMER 2010

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Amaani Lyle
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
The Air Force's top uniformed officer hosted the 50th annual Conferencia de los Jefes de las Fuerzas Aereas Americanas, or CONJEFAMER, here June 13 through 17.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz served as president of CONJEFAMER 2010, which brought together air chiefs from 17 member countries and two observer air forces.

The annual gathering brings together air forces in the western hemisphere to discuss mutual cooperation and security throughout the Americas and to foster cooperation and friendship.

"Fifty years of these successful meetings is a testament to the commitment and friendship among air and space professionals," General Schwartz said. "As an Airman, I strongly believe that our cooperation, as a community of Airmen, makes each of our nations stronger."

CONJEFAMER is the annual meeting of American Air Force chiefs who are members of the "Sistema of Cooperación Entre las Fuerzas Aereas Americanas" or "System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces."

SICOFAA involves special committees and workshops composed of experts from its member air forces who investigate problems and their ramifications and provide the chiefs ways to improve operations and administration.

This year's CONJEFAMER included two plenary sessions, an executive session, and several bilateral meetings between the commanders, said Col. Kristian Skinner, the SICOFAA Secretary General.

Fellow air chiefs also joined General Schwartz for a formal dinner, a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and a tour of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Participants were honored at a ceremonial "Twilight Tattoo" at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., and visited the White House.

"CONJEFAMER provides a common ground on which nations can build, maintain and enhance international partnerships," Colonel Skinner said. "This meeting allowed member nations to learn from each other, develop a fuller understanding of current issues, and look toward the future in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding."

In addition to CONJEFAMER, SICOFAA holds several committee meetings several times a year. Their largest current initiative is planning the organization's first combined exercise, "Cooperation I," slated to occur in Chile in October, Colonel Skinner said.

Members will develop combined procedures following a simulated response to a natural disaster. Nations of the Western Hemisphere have had to face that real-world scenario with earthquakes hitting Haiti and Chile earlier this year.

General Schwartz thanked participants for helping make a difference.

"I thank you for your contributions to progress within the Americas, between us as professionals, and between our air forces and our nations," said General Schwartz.

This year's conference member attendees were from the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Observer air force countries Belize and Guyana were also represented.

CONJEFAMER 2011 is scheduled to take place in Brazil and will be sponsored by the Brazilian Air Force.