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Taste of the World culinary and cultural event
Col. Yadi Sutanandika makes final preparations of authentic Indonesian food before more than 800 Air War College staff, faculty, students and their families who attended the Taste of the World culinary and cultural event, March 3 at Maxwell Air Force Base. Air War College international students displayed ethnic foods and dress from 45 different countries. In addition to sharing cultures, attendees raised food donations for the Montgomery Food Bank. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Voss)
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International Festival Highlights Partnership Building through Professional Military Education

Posted 3/9/2012   Updated 3/9/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Master Sgt. Michael Voss
Air University Public Affairs


3/9/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --  More than 800 students, faculty, and staff came together here, March 3 to experience Air War College's Taste of the World culinary and cultural event.
 
This annual event, sponsored by the International Fellows of Air War College, was an opportunity for each student to showcase culinary treats distinctive for their region, and more importantly educate fellow students on the cultural heritage of their regions.

Colonel David Lowthian, representing the Royal Canadian Air Force and International Fellow President, said, "It's the first opportunity each country gets to represent themselves with styles such as food, dress and music. They get to show off their county to a larger audience." The event highlighted the food and culture from more 46 international partners with plenty of samples for those who attended.

Although everyone enjoyed the food and camaraderie, events such as the Taste of the World serve a larger purpose. They play an important part of the Air Education and Training Command priority of building partnerships.

"Taste of the World is an important event that builds friendships and partnerships that last a lifetime," said the Commandant of Air War College, Maj. Gen. Scott Hanson. "Many of our international fellows go on to become their country's Air Chief, and the experience and relationships they have while here have an effect on their entire career. We often hear their testimonies that this year, exposed to American culture and values, also represents one of the best years in the life of their families, who accompany them while here at PME, and make lifelong friends in the community."

Partnership building is an important part of the mission at Air War College and the Professional Military Education programs at Air University. Many of the international fellows of Air University later become key decision makers when they go home. Air University International Officer's School maintains an International Honor Roll of 413 international military students from 89 countries that have risen to prominent positions, usually commander of their air force or higher.

The relationships developed at Air University at events like the Taste of the World have a direct influence on U.S. National Security.

"This represents one of the fundamental investments that Air War College offers in terms of National Security and building relationships," according Hanson. "One of the best benefits of their year here is the relationships made not only with the United States but with their allied counterparts as well." This sentiment was echoed by Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Ms. Heidi Grant. While here as part of the Air Staff's annual International Day, she participated in this year's Taste of the World event to meet with many of the international fellows, and show her support of Air University's partnership building mission.
 



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