Each year, Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs hosts a countrywide tour known as the Latin American Cadet Initiative. This year, the tour included an opportunity to highlight Vandenberg’s missions and role in national security on Oct. 29.
Vandenberg was a part of a three-week tour of the United States in support of SAF/IA’s mission to “enhance relationships with our international partners and strengthen U.S. and global security through partnerships.”
“The Secretary of the Air Force invites the top two cadets from the respective Air Force academies in different countries [to join this tour],” said Capt. Linda Arias, Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs of the Americas and Africa division country director. “So, here on this tour, we have the best-of-the-best cadets from 11 different countries.”
Latin American cadets who visited Vandenberg represented Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, Mexico, Uruguay and Honduras.
During the tour of Vandenberg AFB, cadets learned about the space industry and the history of the base during their visits to the Space and Missile Heritage Museum and Space Launch Complex-6.
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“It’s important to bring them to Vandenberg because we want to share our best practices in space and missiles,” said Arias. “We want to build a better partnership between these countries and our own, the United States.”
The tour educated the cadets on how Vandenberg enables space superiority through assured access for the nation.
“To be honest, I always enjoy the museum,” said 1st Lt. Joseph Jeffrey, a tour coordinator and member of the 614th Combat Training Squadron. “There is so much to learn here about our history, and I hope it fosters relationships between all these countries and the United States.”
According to Arias, witnessing a launch pad firsthand exemplified the importance of Vandenberg’s mission of providing robust spaceport and range capabilities that enable polar orbit launch opportunities to the nation.
“I have been in the Air Force for nine years, and this is my first opportunity to come to Vandenberg,” said Arias. “It is great to see Vandenberg through my cadets’ eyes and to see it myself. The mission is truly incredible, and you guys at Vandenberg do some awesome stuff here.”