Staff Talks result in trilateral agreement between 12th Air Force, West Virginia National Guard, and Peru Published June 16, 2023 By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A trilateral cooperation agreement was signed during a ceremony hosted by the 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia National Guard, in Martinsburg, W.Va., June 9th. The agreement was the culmination of three days of staff discussions between the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), the West Virginia Air National Guard, and the Peruvian Air Force. The 12th Air Force serves as the Air Force component to the U.S. Southern Command, and conducts security cooperation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The West Virginia Air National Guard has a long-standing partnership with Peruvian forces through the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. Lt. Gen. Carlos Chavez, the Peruvian Air Force Chief of Staff, emphasized the significance of the West Virginia partnership during the ceremony, stating, “It’s been a real pleasure for the Peruvian Air Force to be here this week working together, in order to succeed, in order to grow, and improve our capabilities together.” An estimated 40 representatives from the three named entities planned nearly 60 future engagements of cooperation to include air operations and maintenance, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, non-commissioned officer development, women in peacekeeping and security initiatives, and space and communications operations. Dave Delmonaco, representing the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), noted that the youngest of Airmen can influence activities and engagements of the State Partnership Program. “The beauty is that anyone in this audience could have that next idea that’s going to bring us together for an engagement that’s going to work at the strategic level, and is going to elevate what we do that affects both Peru and the United States Air Force,” Delmonaco stated during the ceremony. In addition to participating in staff discussions, members of the Peruvian Air Force were given orientation flights on a West Virginia National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. The trip culminated in meetings with officials at the Pentagon. Brig. Gen. David Cochran, West Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General and commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard, said the state is proud to have Peru as a longstanding partner and praised the growth of the relationship between the West Virginia National Guard and Peru. “It’s not just a state partnership. It’s multi-agency. It’s a whole-of-government partnership that we help facilitate with our West Virginia National Guard resources and our military cooperation with Peru,” Cochran said. The West Virginia National Guard and Peru have been partnered through the State Partnership Program since 1996. In fiscal year 2022, alone, the WVNG and Peru have completed 31 engagements together. Most recently, the WVNG participated in the Peru-hosted international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise Cooperacion IX.