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Incirlik celebrates Hispanity Day

U.S. Air Force Capt. Keven Abraham, 39th Security Forces Squadron officer in charge of logistics and resources, finishes the Hispanity Day 8K run alongside a member of the Spanish Army at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Keven Abraham, 39th Security Forces Squadron officer in charge of logistics and resources, finishes the Hispanity Day 8K run alongside a member of the Spanish Army at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. Following the race, Abraham thanked him for running with him during the race and encouraging him to run faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force, Spanish Army and Turkish Air Force service members gather to celebrate Hispanity Day at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 12, 2018.

U.S. Air Force, Spanish Army and Turkish Air Force service members gather to celebrate Hispanity Day at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 12, 2018. Each year, Hispanity Day, Spain’s national holiday, commemorates the anniversary of when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force, Spanish Army and Turkish Air Force service members gather to enjoy Spanish food, following the Hispanity Day parade at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 12, 2018.

U.S. Air Force, Spanish Army and Turkish Air Force service members gather to enjoy Spanish food, following the Hispanity Day parade at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 12, 2018. The Spanish Army made authentic Spanish dishes to allow the NATO allies to experience a portion of their culture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

Members of the Spanish Army gather before the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

Members of the Spanish Army gather before the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. The Spanish Army hosted a Hispanity Day parade and a volleyball tournament, along with the 8K, in hopes to foster comradery among their NATO allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nikita Albert, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management flight commander, participates in the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nikita Albert, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management flight commander, participates in the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. Albert was one of many U.S. service members who assisted the Spanish Army in planning and organizing the Hispanity Day events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members pose for a photo at the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members pose for a photo at the Hispanity Day 8K run at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. Hispanity Day is the national holiday of Spain and celebrates the anniversary of when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members jump for the volleyball during the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members jump for the volleyball during the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. U.S. service members competed against the Spanish Army in three rounds of volleyball to determine the winner. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members participate in the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members participate in the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. The friendly tournament ended the celebrations of Hispanity Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members pose for a photo at the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018.

U.S. Air Force and Spanish Army members pose for a photo at the Hispanity Day Volleyball Tournament at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2018. The U.S. Air Force team won the tournament and each team recieved their trophy from the opposing team's commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

On Oct. 12, 2018, the Spanish Army celebrated Spain’s national holiday, Hispanity Day.

To foster an appreciation of culture, leadership from the three NATO allies at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, came together to celebrate the anniversary of when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. To commemorate the anniversary, the Spanish Army hosted a military parade, where members of Incirlik AB stood alongside them in formation honoring their special holiday.

“I was excited that [Hispanity Day] was going to be a NATO event. Personally, I felt it would be really interesting to be part of it, especially the ceremony,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alberto Losada Ojeda, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron customer service journeyman, who assisted in the planning of Hispanity Day. “Sharing my ideas with the United States and Spanish military forces was a very stimulating learning experience.”

 

Continuing the festivities, members from across the installation ran an 8K race together and competed against each other during a Spain versus U.S. volleyball tournament. While the U.S. Air Force team took home gold, as a show of mutual support and respect, both commanders presented their NATO ally a trophy.

An event focused on diversity, Hispanity Day not only provided an opportunity for NATO allies to come together and strengthen alliances, but also served as a reminder that each member’s background plays a critical role in maintaining the mission.