TSgt. Leonardo Cepero Febres and TSgt. George Nikolakakos are making history by being the first two USAF airmen to attend the Inter-American Noncommissioned Officers Academy (INCOA) at Lackland AFB, Tex. The NCO school is a part of the larger Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA). Febres and Nikolakakos will study alongside airmen from Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru. “The experience will give our NCOs an invaluable immersion,” said CMSgt. Andres Alvarez, IAAFA superintendent. He added, “They will get firsthand knowledge of our partner nations’ military, political, and cultural issues that impact our inter-American relationships.” That is on top of the professional military education credit that they’ll earn. Alvarez said their admittance “aligns with” the Air Force’s goal of strengthening cross-cultural competence and capabilities with partner nations. USAF NCOs also will begin attending INCOA courses in Bogota, Colombia, and Mexico City this year. (Lackland release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.