Paraguayan General, Former IAAFA graduate serves as example of Security Cooperation

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

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – He first attended the Inter-American Air Forces Academy as a student in 1990, then returned here as a partner nation guest instructor in 2004. Fifteen years later, Gen. Arturo González Ocampo, Commander of the Paraguayan Air Force, returned to IAAFA as a guest of honor for B-Cycle graduation ceremony and banquet Aug. 10, 2022.  

“It’s a great honor to return to this great Air Force academy and address the graduates of class of 2022 B,” González said.  

The Paraguayan commander walked the halls of the academy, provoking a sense of pride from both sides as he looked at the latest resources and even popped in to one of the classes for a surprise visit. 

“IAAFA changed my life,” González said. “All of the training and preparation I received here showed me to train others.” 

Col. Carlos Carrasco, IAAFA’s International Deputy Commandant, was one of the students he helped lead as instructor of the Pilot Instruments Procedures Course in 2007. 

“He was the most experienced instructor in the course and the person you turned to when you had any question,” Carrasco said. “I specifically remember he was a master of the whiz wheel. He knew all the formulas of the flight-planning tool.” 

From his development as an officer and an airman, to his role as commander of an air transportation and maintenance group, González said he has implemented the lessons he learned at IAAFA. 

“Working in the most powerful Air Force in the world allowed me to have a different vision and better understanding of professionalism and teamwork – things I applied in my career to get my current position as Commander of the Paraguayan Air Force,” he said.  

Col. Jose Jiménez, Jr. IAAFA commandant, said General González exemplifies IAAFA’s mission of security cooperation at its core. 

“One of our main objectives is to develop senior leaders who will one day be charged with the preservation of peace and human rights objectives,” Jiménez said. “Gen. González encompasses what the 37th Training Wing and IAAFA aim to accomplish with its partner nations.”  

When asked about a message he’d like to share with Air Force leaders, González said, “IAAFA offers a unique environment and training focused on technical and operational education,” and referred to the academy as a bridge between air forces of Latin America and the U.S. Air Force.  

“It’s the main reason to continue to increase and promote more opportunities to foster lasting relationships and continue generating security cooperation overall,” González said.