IAAFA Sgt. spends her International Women’s Day enroute to Peru

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Kayshel Trudell
  • Inter-American Air Force's Academy, 37th Training Wing

On International Women’s Day 2020, Staff Sgt. Soleine Izquierdo boarded a plane with her Inter-American Air Force’s Academy team enroute to Lima, Peru. Their mission you ask... to share with our Peruvian military partners just how important the non-commissioned officer corps is to the mission and operations of the United States Air Force.

The importance of this opportunity for members of the Peruvian military and IAAFA to exchange ideas and best practices is unparalleled, but its significance to Izquierdo runs even deeper. 

“I am originally from Peru, so to have this opportunity to return to my home and share with fellow Peruvians who serve, especially servicewomen, my experience in the U.S. Air Force, the professional development I have received and benefited from and to speak about IAAFA’s mission alongside our partners from WHINSEC and the West Virginia National Guard is beyond words,” said Izquierdo, IAAFA international student manager. “This is my first international mission to participate in with IAAFA since joining the team about a year and a half ago... the fact that it is to Lima is icing on the cake.”

As part of this traditional commander’s activity team, Izquierdo will spend a week engaging with officers and enlisted members of the Peruvian Air Force, Army and Navy, to include each branches senior enlisted member, during IAAFA’s second-ever TCA Officer and NCO Professional Development Seminar hosted in Peru.

“It was an obvious choice to have Soleine on the team for this partner nation collaboration engagement,” said Senior Master Sgt. Gerardo Marquez, IAAFA superintendent. “On International Women’s Day, but really on all days, demonstrating the strength of gender integration into our force and showcasing just how critical a component it is to our military strength is paramount. Her Peruvian cultural insight is invaluable and her continual exceptional performance makes her the exemplar Airman to represent the U.S. Air Force and engage with our coalition partners.”

Izquierdo was born and raised in Lima Peru, coming to the United States at the age of fourteen and eventually gaining citizenship so she could join the military and serve in the U.S. Air Force.

“Since the moment I discovered IAAFA I have dreamed of working at the Academy,” said Izquierdo. “At the time, they weren’t looking for anyone Senior Airmen or below, but I applied anyways.”

On her third attempt, and after promoting to Staff Sgt., Izquierdo earned her way through IAAFA’s doors.

“The relationships that will be made and the continual progress that will result from this seminar will be of great benefit to all women who serve,” said Izquierdo. “I am proud to be a Peruvian, I am proud to be an American service member, but most of all I am proud to be one of the amazing Women leading the way for generations to follow.”

Izquerido is a 2S material manager by trade and is performing duties as an interpretive translator at IAAFA. She hopes to continue working with U.S. international allies throughout her Air Force career.

For more details on this seminar follow the 37th Training Wing Facebook page.