SANTIAGO, Chile –
Space Operations Command Guardians, along with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command soldiers, cadets and cadre from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Airmen from across the United States traveled to South America to take part in the FIDAE (Feria International Del Aire y Del Espacio) Air Show, April 5 – 10, in Santiago, Chile.
FIDAE is a biannual air and trade show that includes a weeklong international air and space fair, space summit and ends with Latin America’s largest air show.
“This has been a terrific opportunity to continue strengthening our partnership with Chile and other South American spacefaring nations,” said U.S. Space Force Col. Miguel Cruz, Space Delta 4 commander. “The space domain isn’t a domain that can be maintained without partnerships and allies. Being here at FIDAE has given us the ability to work together and further those relationships.”
This year’s event is the first time U.S. Space Force personnel represented the U.S. military’s newest service at FIDAE.
“Being a part of the U.S. Space Operations Command team and representing the U.S. Space Force at FIDAE has been a great honor and eye-opening experience,” said U.S. Space Force Capt. Natalia Pinto, operations flight commander, 3rd Space Operations Squadron. “Our efforts and engagements have helped clear up confusion about who we are and what we do and built a level of understanding that was missing.”
Guardians met with members of the air and space industry, foreign military, including Chilean Air Force members, distinguished visitors, and dignitaries from around the world. FIDAE also served as a personal introduction to Space Operations Command for an international audience.
“Our team’s presence at FIDAE allowed us to connect with the community in a setting that has been predominately air-centric, but is evolving to include the space stakeholders,” said Senior Master Sgt. Julia Valenzuela, superintendent, 11th Space Warning Squadron. “Our participation and education in events like these will continue to expand the importance of space and grow the awareness of the world’s reliance on the domain’s benefits.”
Guardians interacted with thousands of FIDAE visitors of all ages throughout the week, giving them the opportunity to not only discuss their mission, but also to connect with the visitors on a personal level.
“FIDAE 22 offered us a win-win opportunity as we were able to highlight some of our incredible Guardians and showcase our new service to a very attentive audience,” said Cruz. “We also communicated our commitment to continue cooperation with Chile. We hope to continue this tradition and cultivate this important relationship with our Latin American partners.”
“Our team is here to showcase U.S. Space capabilities. Space is critical to the national security of the United States, our allies, and combatant commanders worldwide. We are the best in the world at what we do because of important partnerships, like with Chile, which are foundational to everything we do. Increased cooperation in the space domain. Space Force was built with coalition partners in mind from the beginning. Integrate with our allied partners. Elevating America’s leadership in space further in global partnerships and alliances. The importance of space is resonating across the global mutually beneficial.”