HomeNewsArticle Display

We are the Americas: Goldfein strengthens bonds, partnerships with Western Hemisphere air chiefs at a time of growing regional challenges


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein meets with El Salvador’s newly elected President Nayib Bukele. The meeting came as part of Goldfein’s participation during a three-day conference in San Salvador, El Salvador that brought together air chiefs from 21 countries in the Western Hemisphere to discuss a range of regional issues and to strengthen partnerships. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, (AFNS) --

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein delivered familiar messages June 17-19 to an influential meeting of air chiefs from 21 nations across the Americas – the United States wants to be your partner of choice and “we’re stronger together.”

“It’s all about partnerships here in this hemisphere among neighbors,” Goldfein said during a conference call June 17 with reporters after arriving in El Salvador for the annual event that brings together the highest ranking air force officers from Western Hemisphere nations.

“Looking at interoperability, building partner capacity, the extension of engagement that is guided by these interests really reflects our enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity within the Americas,” he said.

Goldfein’s words – and his broader effort – reflected a history of tight bonds and collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and countries as diverse as Brazil, Canada and El Salvador. Air chiefs from each of those countries attended the three-day annual event that was co-sponsored this year by Goldfein and El Salvador’s Air Chief, Col. Manuel Calderon.

The meeting of air chiefs from the Americas is held under the auspices of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, an organization based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, that coordinates military responses and efforts to deliver humanitarian aid.

While the purpose and tenor of this year’s meeting echoed those of previous gatherings, there also were new issues that magnified its importance. The ongoing turmoil and instability in Venezuela is one prominent example. The growing influence of Russia and especially China in the region is also a fresh feature as are the shifting dynamics of immigration and how the United States responds.

The changes extended to the personal as well. Colombia, which is one of the United States’ closest allies in the region, appointed a new chief of its air force in December. Guatemala recently elected a new president and has a new air chief.

Given those circumstances and the importance of the issues, Goldfein said the annual Conference of American Air Chiefs occurred at a critical time.

“The work we do, shoulder to shoulder, grows more important each year,” Goldfein said. “Many of our allies in the Americas have been bedrock allies for decades. This spirit of cooperation and mutual trust has been a notable trait for many years and it’s clear that that characteristic has never been more important than it is today.”

As in previous years, the topics for discussion spanned a wide range. While the dominant focus was how best to collaborate and coordinate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, there also were discussions on how to share intelligence and improve joint situational awareness, how to refine ongoing efforts to combat illicit air traffic and opportunities for joint training and personnel exchange, among others.

Goldfein also said there were discussions about space, particularly each nation’s interest in launch capabilities and satellites. That focus, he said, is a byproduct of a meeting about space April 17 in Colorado with air chiefs from 11 developed nations.

“Each country is moving forward on both of these areas and I had a great conversation (previously) with my fellow air chief from Brazil talking about what Brazil is doing leaning forward in the space business,” said Goldfein.

The United States also provided a demonstration of a new, upgraded radio network that allows pilots to communicate better with officials on the ground. That capability is critical not just for military operations but for humanitarian missions as well, Goldfein said.

The system, called Aeronet, is a resilient “mesh network” that was fitted on a propeller-driven aircraft for the demonstration.

In addition to meeting the air chiefs, Goldfein visited the Cooperative Security Location, known locally as “Comalapa.” The facility provides security, logistics, infrastructure and operational support to forward deployed U.S. aviation units participating in interagency counter-narcotics and illegal trafficking operations.

He also met with the Minister of Defense, Colonel Rene Francis Merino-Monroy, U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Manes, and El Salvador’s new President Nayib Bukele.


Facebook Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…
.@SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett recently testified to the #SenateArmedServicesCommittee on privatized #military hou… https://t.co/XktLL4cXBB
RT @US_Stratcom: Whether it’s a defender, missile alert facility manager or a missileer, everyone is vital to the intercontinental ballisti…
RT @AFResearchLab: The @AF_SBIR_STTR team alongside the Wright Brothers Institute hosted the first @usairforce Technology Executive Office…