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IAAFA hosts training managers

Adriana Marin, a training manager from El Salvador, receives instruction on the basic construction characteristics of an aircraft from Staff Sgt. Juan De La Rosa, an instructor at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy July 17. De La Rosa briefed IAAFA’s aircraft structural maintenance course to training managers from 16 partner Latin American countries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)

Adriana Marin, a training manager from El Salvador, receives instruction on the basic construction characteristics of an aircraft from Staff Sgt. Juan De La Rosa, an instructor at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy July 17. De La Rosa briefed IAAFA’s aircraft structural maintenance course to training managers from 16 partner Latin American countries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)

Staff Sgt. Juan De La Rosa describes the different fasteners utilized on aircraft to Ritza Romero, a training manager from Honduras July 17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Training managers from 16 Latin American countries attended the Inter-American Air Forces Academy Training Manager Conference. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)

Staff Sgt. Juan De La Rosa describes the different fasteners utilized on aircraft to Ritza Romero, a training manager from Honduras July 17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Training managers from 16 Latin American countries attended the Inter-American Air Forces Academy Training Manager Conference. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)

7/26/2012 -- Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Tx -- Training managers from 16 Latin American countries attended the Inter-American Air Forces Academy Training Manager Conference July 16-17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

IAAFA works to foster enduring inter-American engagement with Latin American countries through education and training.

Military students from more than 20 countries routinely attend courses at the IAAFA campus, thanks in part to the guidance their countries' training managers.

The conference, with 21 training managers in attendance, was critical in presenting an in-depth picture of the 34 courses offered, course overviews from each instructor, and briefings to better explain the IAAFA experience.

"Attending this conference has given me a better idea and more thorough explanation of what IAAFA can offer us," said Ritza Romero, a training manager from Honduras.

"Without coming here, I can read a course description in the catalog, but I can't explain to them what to expect as students," Romero said.

"I now know exactly how to prepare students when they are sent to an IAAFA course - from what to anticipate getting off the plane, to courses and simulators, to hospitality," she said. "We were able to experience everything that our students will when they come here."

Romero said as a training manager, part of her job is to understand IAAFA course descriptions, help match students with needed courses, and even help prepare them for travel to the U.S. Attending this conference makes those aspects of her job much easier.

"Although we provide a catalog, an interactive website, and are open any time for questions, the work the training managers provide can't be duplicated," said Col. Marc Stratton, IAAFA commandant. "Seeing first-hand each of the courses, talking to the instructors and actually handling some of the training aids that we use cannot be done virtually."

The last training manager conference was held in 2008. Since then, IAAFA has moved into a new facility, acquired different training aids, an additional aircraft, and modernized several courses. The conference served as an opportunity to update the training managers on improvements and changes that have taken place at IAAFA in the four years since.

"There is a huge difference in IAAFA," Romero said. "With the new building and improvements ... I wish we had something like this back home for training. This was a very rewarding opportunity to see what IAAFA has to offer."