Chamber hosts partner nation guests for 76th Bi-Annual Western Hemisphere Symposium

Your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council was honored to host the guests of the Inter American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) for the 76th Western Hemisphere Symposium (WHES). The Reception was a part of the USAA Military Reception series at the Chamber and welcomed over 130 guests from throughout Joint Base San Antonio and 19 partner nations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The WHES is hosted by Joint Base San Antonio biannually and attendees represent military personnel from their respective countries. More than 75 Senior Military Leaders representing nations such as Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Uruguay, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Canada, Panama, and more were in attendance. In addition to the Commandant of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy Colonel Isaac Davidson and the Deputy Commander for Air Education and Training Command Major General Mark Weatherington, guests were greeted by Lieutenant General Mike Plehn, the Military Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida.

Participants in the Inter-American Air Forces Academy Western Hemisphere Exchange Symposium attend in order to share best practices, strategies, build relationships and strengthen ties. Gerardo Tapia, USAA Military Affairs Representative, remarked that, “As an Airman who left lots of footprints all over Central and South America, it is a great honor to represent USAA and show genuine Texas hospitality to many of our partner nations in attendance.  We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with IAAFA, US Southern Command and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce as they build capacity, resilience and alliances.”

Steve Cochran, USAA’s AVP for Affinity Development and Operations and this year’s Military Affairs Council Chairman commented after the event that, “It is always a privilege and honor to represent USAA and the SA Chamber of Commerce at these receptions.” He continued, “Walking into the room you could feel the energy and excitement the delegates had for being in San Antonio, Military City USA.  Several delegates went out of their way to thank me for the support and involvement of the Chamber of Commerce and USAA.  It was a blessing to meet several of the delegates and hear about their backgrounds and experiences. The reception was a wonderful opportunity for business leaders to connect with San Antonio’s military personnel and our international military partners.”

The Chamber stands ready to connect and provide invaluable networking opportunities for our Military Partners, our local Community, and the greater Military Connected Communities nationwide. For more information on joining the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council, please contact Lori Stinson, Vice President of Military Affairs and Leadership Development, at

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