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IAAFA leaders attend Paraguayan Air Force centennial celebration

  • Published
  • By Vanessa R. Adame

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, TX -- Leaders from the Inter-American Air Forces Academy joined Paraguay’s top military officials to commemorate the Paraguayan Air Force’s Centennial Anniversary, Feb. 21-24.

Col. José Jiménez, Jr., IAAFA commandant and Chief Master Sgt. Yusef Saad, IAAFA Senior Enlisted Leader, joined officials from 12th Air Force and the Massachusetts Air National Guard, as well as leaders from across Latin America for the three-day event. Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benitez, as well as hundreds of military members attended the Central Ceremony of the Centennial Paraguayan Military Aviation. There, President Benitez greeted senior members of visiting delegations and pinned each of them with the Medal of Honor for the Centennial Commemoration of the Paraguayan Air Force.

“It was an honor to represent the Academy because the medal represented the relationship that IAAFA has played in the success of the Paraguayan Air Force,” Jiménez said. “And the trust that not only the Air Force, but the entire country has in an organization as small as ours to help them grow and continue to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

IAAFA leaders exchanged gifts with Gen. Arturo González Ocampo, Commander of the Paraguayan Air Force, and met with other senior leaders from the country’s air force – many of them wearing IAAFA wings to symbolize their IAAFA graduation.  

“There’s a lot to be said about an organization that’s 80 years old and the relationship that we continue to have with an organization that’s 100 years old,” Jiménez said. “It is worth celebrating, not just for the organization, but for the grand scheme of security cooperation.”