IAAFA hosts second-ever Professional Development Seminar with Peruvian Military Published March 20, 2020 By 1st Lt. Kayshel Trudell 37th Training Wing Public Affairs LIMA, Peru (AFNS) -- The Inter-American Air Forces Academy hosted its second-ever Officer and Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Seminar and Subject Matter Expert Exchange with members of the Peruvian Army, Air Force and Navy March 9-12. “Professional Military Education and developmental courses are the heart of IAAFA,” said Senior Master Sgt. Gerardo Marquez, IAAFA superintendent. “Our vision is to build security cooperation and strong enduring relationships with our partners. Collaborative engagements like these are what make that possible.” The goal for this PME seminar was to create an opportunity to increase collaboration, share experiences and lessons learned and showcase the importance of leadership training for officers and enlisted military members at all levels to enhance interoperability and mission success. “It is IAAFA’s mission to provide military education and training to our military partners of the Americas,” said Francisco Hernandez, IAAFA Traditional Commanders Activity coordinator. “We were thrilled to host this event for a second time and hope that it means many similar engagements with our Peruvian military partners in the future.” IAAFA was joined by fellow U.S. military SMEs from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the West Virginia National Guard and U.S. Southern Command to provide additional insight on leadership, communication and professional military education for both officers and NCOs alike. “The United States is an enduring friend and partner to Peru,” said U.S. Army Master Sergeant Danny Gomes, NCO Development Partnership Program Manager for SOUTHCOM. “Having the opportunity to participate in events like these reiterate our steadfast commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation with Peru and our enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas. Thank you to our IAAFA brethren for making this seminar possible.” This IAAFA led initiative directly supports Joint Security Cooperation Education and Training efforts and SOUTHCOM’s goal to support and strengthen the U.S. and Peruvian partnership. Members of the West Virginia National Guard also joined IAAFA for this professional development engagement. They have had an advising, training and assistance relationship with Peru since 1996 and participate in many partnership capacity building events each year as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program. “Our Peruvian partnership has created an enduring and important working relationship that enables unique training opportunities for all involved parties,” said State Command Sgt. Maj. James Jones, West Virginia Army National Guard. “We are thankful to the IAAFA team for the opportunity to join and our Peruvian partners in discussions on leadership best practices, professional development for all ranks and how each of us contributes to being the most effective military organizations possible.” The SPP links states’ National Guard with the armed forces of partner countries to participate in training and other activities that foster long-term enduring relationships. It has become a critical component of U.S. defense strategy and a model for security cooperation in the 21st century.