114th Fighter Wing hosts tour for Suriname visitors

Sioux Falls, S.D. --

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The South Dakota National Guard is partnered with the country of Suriname for a State Partnership Program.  Female Officers of the Suriname Army visited with members of the South Dakota Air National Guard as part of a Women in Leadership Subject Matter Exchange program March 3, 2017 at Joe Foss Field, S.D. The National State Partnership Program has successful partnerships with 79 countries around the world including the creation of a unique security partnership for over 20 years.


“The main purpose of the trip is to exchange experiences of females in the military.” said Army Capt. Waylon Skelton, Bilateral Affairs officer, U.S. Embassy, Suriname.


The officers spoke with several female Airmen from different career fields to gain an insight into their experiences with the South Dakota Air National Guard. 


Capt. Shannon Davis, 175th Fighter Squadron pilot, and Master Sgt. Jayme Warren, 114th Medical Group bioenvironmental engineer NCOIC, helped with the tour of the 114th Fighter Wing and shared their specific career field experiences with the visitors from Suriname.


“I found it particularly interesting to see what areas the majority of the women worked compared to the female population on our base.” said Warren.


The Suriname officers were surprised to see our female Airmen in career fields that are not a norm in Suriname.


“Most of the women in the Suriname military are in logistics or administrative career fields.” said Maj. Sieglein Grot, Suriname Army, Head of Suriname Military Family Support.


The visit gave both the 114th Fighter Wing Airmen and the female Suriname officers a good perspective of the cultural and roles differences between the two countries. 


“I enjoyed the opportunity to hear them speak about their roles in the Suriname military.” said Warren. “I loved hearing about their passion for bringing more women into the military and reaching higher officer ranks.”