Air Force Learning Professionals News Search


IAAFA takes security cooperation mission to Colombia

  • Published
  • By Vanessa R. Adame
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Instructors at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy took their mission to Colombia to teach Colombian Air Force students Aug. 27 to Sept. 22.

Five instructors from the 837th Training Squadron were on a mobile training team to teach approximately 40 officer and enlisted Colombian Air Force students in cyber networks, cyber security, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance courses at Escuela de Inteligencia Aérea TJ Edgar E. Contreras B., in Bogotá.

The courses combined both officer and enlisted Colombian Air Force members.

In-country engagements like this one provide an additional perspective to IAAFA cadre and staff beyond the Academy’s primary in-residence mission.

“Being in country gives you an opportunity to see how that country accomplishes their missions and allows the team to assess if what they’re teaching is relevant and up-to-date with our partner nations,” said Capt. Marissa Gaytan, 837th Training Squadron flight commander.

Students in the ISR Fundamentals course received instruction on the Distributed Common Ground System operations – the Air Force’s weapon system to process, exploit, and disseminate intelligence from ISR platforms. Additionally, they took part in an exercise where they learned to utilize ISR platform capabilities, weather, and commander’s intent to decide which platforms support the humanitarian operations.

The scale of the curriculum, public health precautions and larger than usual class provided additional workload for the IAAFA instructors.

“We made sure we had two instructors present at all times and allowed more time for practical exercises,” Gaytan said.

In addition to ISR efforts, 12 students who participated in the cyber network and cyber security courses learned the fundamentals to build and secure a network. IAAFA instructors also took the opportunity to see the Colombian Air Force’s cyber capabilities up close.

“We saw their facilities, their operational floor layouts, their network topologies,” said Tech. Sgt. Salvador Chavez, 837th TRS cyber networks and security instructor. “This is something that is very crucial in the development of curriculum. Without actually seeing how they work, the tools they utilize, and how much of their network is organized, we can’t really pinpoint what is needed in those countries.”

After four weeks of instruction, the students earned their certificates during a ceremony attended by their peers, friends, and supervisors.