NEWS | Sept. 3, 2015

Honduran NCO Day builds partnership between two Air Forces

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit Joint Task Force - Bravo Public Affairs

The 612th Air Base Squadron and Honduran Air Force cadets participated in the first-ever Honduran Non-Commissioned Officer Day, Sept. 1, 2015, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The event kicked off with a few words of encouragement from Lt. Col. James Wandmacher, 612th ABS commander and Lt. Col. Jorge Gonzalez, director of the Aviation Technical School at Soto Cano AB.

The event, which started at 5:30 a.m. with a plethora of sports activities, combined the air forces to establish camaraderie and teamwork between the two countries' services. The Honduran NCOs also had the opportunity to tour the different areas managed by the 612th ABS.

"The Honduran Air Force really showed excitement at being able to tour some of our facilities," said Master Sgt. Ronald Lenz, the noncommissioned officer in charge of airfield automation management. "Our goal was to show the Honduran Air Force that we were proud of what we were doing."

Among the stops were the control tower, fuel station, air terminal operations center, airfield management and weather, and the fire department, where participants were briefed on the daily operations of each section the 612th ABS is responsible for.

At the end of the tour, the 612th ABS conducted a question and answer session consisting of a Staff Sgt., Tech Sgt. and Master Sgt., who answered questions pertaining to the difficulties of being a military service member and offered advice to those who sought it.

Among the Q&A participants, the most active were the female NCOs.

"The nine female Honduran Air Force members really opened up," said Lenz, noting their many questions and their willingness to speak up. Learning from each other's techniques and ideas, the two nations worked hand-in-hand to build on existing military relationships and bond over commonalities.