A Gathering of Chiefs

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh traveled to Mexico City in late June to meet with air chiefs from 21 other countries who are part of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, an organization started in 1961 by former CSAF Gen. Thomas White, according to a July 1 release. Since devastating earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010, the chiefs have focused primarily on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. “We don’t do anything in this world alone,” said Welsh. “Coalitions that form to support everything from humanitarian relief to contingency operations require organizations, especially military organizations, that know how to integrate and work together under tough conditions. That is much easier if those organizations and the people in them have learned to trust each other before crises begin. SICOFAA helps us develop that trust.” This year the chiefs signed a memorandum of understanding outlining how nations will organize when another humanitarian crisis occurs. Other countries represented, included Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. Next year’s summit will be held in Colorado Springs, Colo., states the release.