HomeNewsArticle Display

Western Hemisphere air chiefs work together at annual conference

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III signs an agreement at the conclusion of the Conference of American Air Chiefs June 25, 2015, in Mexico City. The conference is an annual event sponsored by the System of Cooperation Among American Air Chiefs, which is headquartered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and includes representatives from 20 Western Hemisphere air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Bryan Bouchard)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III signs an agreement at the conclusion of the Conference of American Air Chiefs June 25, 2015, in Mexico City. The conference is an annual event sponsored by the System of Cooperation Among American Air Chiefs, which is headquartered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and includes representatives from 20 Western Hemisphere air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Bryan Bouchard)

U.S. Air Force Col. Alberto Moreno-Bonet, the secretary general of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, accepts a gift from Commander of the Mexican air force Gen. Carlos Antonio Rodriguez Munguia during the Conference of American Air Chiefs June 25, 2015, in Mexico City. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Bryan Bouchard)

U.S. Air Force Col. Alberto Moreno-Bonet, the secretary general of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, accepts a gift from Commander of the Mexican air force Gen. Carlos Antonio Rodriguez Munguia during the Conference of American Air Chiefs June 25, 2015, in Mexico City. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Bryan Bouchard)

MEXICO CITY (AFNS) -- United-Allied -- this is the motto of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, an organization comprised of more than 20 air force leaders from across the Western Hemisphere, who met June 22-26 in Mexico City for a summit known as the Conference of American Air Chiefs.

The conference was a time to confer new agreements, discuss the direction of the organization, agree to future exercises, and continue to build upon a 50-plus year history of cooperation and goodwill.

"In 1961, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Thomas D. White, had great foresight in bringing together the air chiefs of the Western Hemisphere to discuss issues of mutual concern," said Col. Alberto Moreno-Bonet, the SICOFAA secretary general, who organizes the group's efforts from an office at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. "Now, 55 years later, 20 nations, along with several observing nations, openly share tactics, techniques, and procedures in the realm of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."

Throughout the year, representatives from each nation meet to map out interoperability agreements, update doctrine and propose future plans for the air chiefs to discuss. Since 2010, Moreno said that SICOFAA has been almost singularly focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Haiti earthquake that year led to this development and has congealed the organization's efforts and resolve.

"We don't do anything in this world alone," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "Coalitions that form to support everything from humanitarian relief to contingency operations require organizations, especially military organizations, that know how to integrate and work together under tough conditions. That is much easier if those organizations and the people in them have learned to trust each other before crises begin. SICOFAA helps us develop that trust."

This year, SICOFAA leaders signed a memorandum of understanding improving how member nations will organize in the event one of the nations experiences a humanitarian or disaster relief crisis. Previous agreements stated that each country's air force will help where it can to assist any other SICOFAA member nation in times of need. Additionally, the nations’ air force leaders also updated part of its charter, streamlining how decisions are voted on, and ultimately ratified it into the fabric of the organization.

"The greatest thing about SICOFAA is that it's an opportunity for countries who are neighbors, who are partners, to become better friends," Welsh said. "We also develop even more trust in our collective future, which allows us to do bigger and better things to benefit the citizens of our countries."

In 2010, SICOFAA started exercising together in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief scenario known as Cooperacion, with the first iteration taking place in Chile. Last year, Peru hosted Cooperacion III, with Argentina scheduled to host the fourth iteration next year. The majority of SICOFAA nations send participants and aircraft to practice working together to prepare for what most countries see as an inevitable humanitarian assistance and disaster relief challenge in the future.

"I expect this system of cooperation to become stronger, and that it comes together as an entity that can respond to any contingency," said the Commander of the Mexican air force Gen. Carlos Antonio Rodriguez Munguia. "Its capabilities will become more efficient in its responses, especially to natural disasters but also to risks faced by participant nations."

Each year, SICOFAA holds the annual conference in a different country. Last year, leaders met in Medellin, Colombia, and next year’s event will be hosted in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to the countries represented by the aforementioned air chiefs, this year's attendees included air chiefs from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Jamaica, U.S., Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic.

Engage

Twitter
.@SpecialTactics_ #Airmen joined in the Columbian-led search and rescue and disaster relief exercise Ángel de los A… https://t.co/LhzNgAcWxv
Twitter
Defenders and their K-9 counterparts at Osan Air Base, ROK, conducted flight training on a U.S. Army HH-60 Black Ha… https://t.co/F6GUONgFYk
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: I get at least one notification a day about a DAF teammate we have needlessly lost to COVID. We need to be mission ready—…
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial, @GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official visited Liberty Village @jointbasemdl, N.J. The team toured op cen… https://t.co/erJs60sYOi
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Enjoyed speaking w/ Republic of Singapore Air Force CAF Maj. Gen. Kelvin Khong. The @USAirForce is grateful for Singapore…
Twitter
Members of the 33rd Rescue Squadron, @KadenaAirBase, Japan, recently participated in joint training with U.S. Marin… https://t.co/aef3q4JuoB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Senior leaders, including SecAF Kendall, visited #TaskForceLiberty where active duty, Guard & Reserve service members ar…
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Why make just one mark on the world when you can make many? @usairforce @GenCQBrownJr https://t.co/xXidr8buDI
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: To ensure success -- or head off failure -- we must rapidly develop and deliver new capabilities. We must make difficult…
Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall #Airmen from the maintenance, intel, weather and security forces career fields worked together to g… https://t.co/WKQ7RvpIzP
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The service members @USAF_EC, @jointbasemdl didn’t believe in impossible. They completely transformed an empty field and…
Twitter
Exercises like Falcon Leap 2020 allow better interoperability among other U.S. branches and international mission p… https://t.co/cML0OvNv3j
Twitter
Curious about the #COVID19 vaccine? Here are some facts to help burst a few #COVID vaccine myths. Learn more here:… https://t.co/7njVBL566L
Twitter
The last Sunday in September marks Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day. We honor and appreciate all those whose l… https://t.co/GmcF36E8nG
Twitter
The Road to #AF75 is all about Airmen, Airpower and Innovation! Today marks the beginning of a year-long series f… https://t.co/ALLC0DK7nB
Twitter
.@DeptofDefense announced the Independent Review Commission Actions and Implementation to Address Sexual Assault an… https://t.co/UfpSe8KNtM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: This is America’s military performing at its best. I couldn’t be more proud of the #Airmen of @USAF_EC, @jointbasemdl and…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall, @GenCQBrownJr & @CMSAF_official visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (@jointbasemdl) today to thank s…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Medical professionals assigned to @RamsteinAirBase and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, #Germany, began mass administering vaccin…
Twitter
#ICYMI, DAF senior leaders and their spouses participated in a Leadership & the Family panel during #ASC21 held at… https://t.co/FZOnzruyw4
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,378,484
Follow Us