VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Tech. Sgt. Jessica Bundles, 30th Space Wing legal office civil law NCOIC, recently attended and graduated the Inter-American Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Oct. 14, 2016 through Dec. 15, 2016.
INCOA provided a different experience than the regular NCOA course, where Bundles was able to utilize her native language in an official capacity.
“Attending INCOA was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Bundles. “The INCOA, which falls under the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, has a unique mission – to build partnerships with allied Latin American countries. Being born and raised in Ecuador, Spanish is my first language, the one I feel comfortable with. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to use Spanish in an official capacity. INCOA uses the legacy curriculum for NCOA, so that the course material remains similar to normal NCOA. However, there are numerous activities built in within the course that are meant to build close bonds with other Air Forces.”
Bundles’ INCOA class was incredibly diverse with students from numerous countries and branches of service, providing her a chance to learn more about her peers.
“Our class was made up of 14 students from eight different countries,” said Bundles. “There were also different branches of service represented, including the Army, Navy, and police forces from Panama. The course was very diverse, which made it so interesting. Being able to talk to our classmates and share things we had in common – our differences, struggles and triumphs – gave us an understanding of how our cultures work. In this class, we didn’t look at each other as different countries, we were classmates working toward the same goals. We became one. That is what the academy is about – learning that mission success is a cohesive effort.”
Due to a tireless work ethic and a relentlessly positive attitude, Bundles’ co-workers believe she was the perfect choice for this unique opportunity.
“Sgt. Bundles is a superb NCO,” said Master Sgt. Mireya Nyirenda, 30th SW law office superintendent. “She is always on the lookout for how to better a process for not only her unit but for the Air Force as well. She is a ‘go to’ person who has a ‘get it done’ attitude. She is highly regarded by her peers, as they see her work ethic and her wonderful personality. As a supervisor, she has a willing heart to help her people and others. An ambassador for the Air Force, she truly represented the caliber of personnel we have here at Vandenberg and in our Air Force to all those in attendance at the school. We are incredibly proud of her.”
Looking back on her recent experience, Bundles recalled INCOA as an opportunity to give back to the military while growing on a personal and professional level.
“Being selected for INCOA meant the world to me,” said Bundles. “Being able to use my native language to further the Air Force mission was priceless. The Air Force opened its doors to me when I was just 19. I arrived to Basic Training only speaking Spanish. The Air Force is the American dream for me. I’ve always wanted to give back to the Air Force and this was a great opportunity for me to do it. I was able to contribute to the mission of building partnerships through my ability of speaking Spanish. On a personal level, it taught me a lot about myself. I can honestly say this has been the best experience of my Air Force career.”