IOS honor roll recognizes accomplishments of alumni
Left, Maj. Gen. Constantin Veselinov Popov, commander of the Bulgarian Air Force and Air War College graduate from 2000, signs a memory book as part of the Honor Roll at the International Officer School Wednesday. Popov was among the 19 selectees inducted this year. The award highlights partnerships between the U.S. and other nations, as well as the accomplishments of the honorees, who have attained the military or civilian rank of chief of staff or higher. (Air Force photo/Chris Baldwin)
IOS honor roll recognizes accomplishments of alumni

by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs

10/21/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- To recognize those who excelled in their own countries, rising to high ranks, the International Officer School named 19 former students to its International Honor Roll.

Building partnerships with countries around the globe is an important facet of the Air Force, said Lt. Gen. David Fadok, commander and president of Air University.

"We live in challenging times," he said. "We face transnational threats to our national security, and these threats demand transnational cooperation."

Fadok gave the opening remarks during a ceremony Oct. 12 at the officer's club to an audience of Maxwell-Gunter and Montgomery leaders, Alabama Goodwill Ambassadors, honorees' families and members of the base community.

The honor roll has recognized 413 leaders from 87 countries. This year's induction group is the largest since the honor roll began in 1988. The IOS engraves a plaque with each honoree's name, rank, country, position and AU schools to recognize their accomplishments.

"We are very proud to have played a small part in the role of educating these leaders," Fadok said.

Quoting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fadok told the audience, "We have learned that we cannot live alone at peace. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community."

To the inductees, he said, "Thank you for building exemplary partnerships with us, partnerships that enable us to build a better future."

Honor roll member Col. Nelson Edgardo Hernandez Diaz, chief of general staff of the Salvadoran air force, graduated from Squadron Officer School in 1990, Air Command and Staff College in 1997 and Air War College in 2006.

During the ceremony, he thanked Air University and the International Officer School for the educational opportunities and cultural experiences for him and his family.

"If you ask them, my children will say these were the best three years of their lives," he said. "We love this place, and we cherish it like our second home."

Each year, Air University provides professional military continuing education to more than 250 international students. The programs at Maxwell prepare officers to become leaders in their own counties and build relationships between these countries and the United States.

The honor roll seeks to achieve its theme, "partnership through education," by embodying the spirit of Air University international graduates yesterday, today and tomorrow.

International Honor Roll inductees for 2011

Maj. Gen. Tumelo Moemedi Paledi, air arm commander, Botswana defense force, ACSC 1990

Maj. Gen. Constantin Veselinov Popov, commander, Bulgarian air force, AWC 2000

Gen. Jorge A. Rojas, commander in chief, Chilean air force, AWC 1994

Gen. Julio Gonzalez Ruiz, commander, Colombian air force, ACSC 1994

Brig. Gen. Drazen Scuri, commander, Croatian air force and air defense, ACSC 2002

Lt. Gen. Per Pugholm Olsen, commanding general, Danish defense acquisition and logistics organization, AWC 2001

Maj. Gen. Francisco Alba, general director, Dominican Republic civil aviation, ACSC 1983

Col. Nelson Edgardo Hernandez Diaz, chief of general staff, Salvadoran air force, SOS 1990, ACSC 1997, AWC 2006

Col. Mamuka Kusikashvili, deputy commander, Georgian land forces, ACSC 2006

Lt. Gen. Vasilios Klokozas, chief, Hellenic air force, SOS 1988

Maj. Gen. Zoltan Pinter, air chief, Hungarian defense force, AWC 2000

Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, chief of staff, Indian air force, ACSC 1988

Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis, chief of staff, Italian air force, AWC 1989

Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of staff, Japanese air self defense force, ACSC 1985

Lt. Col. Kire Kolevski, air wing commander, army of the Republic of Macedonia, ACSC 2002

Maj. Gen. Finn Kristian Hannestad, chief of staff, royal Norwegian air force, AWC 2001

Gen. Jong Heon Park, chief of staff, Republic of Korea air force, SOS 1983

Lt. Gen. Mohammed Bin Abdullah Alayeesh, commander, royal Saudi air force, AWC 1993

Maj. Gen. Martin Babiak, commander, Slovak air force, AWC 2000