NEWS | April 17, 2021

U.S. Soldier Teaches Kuwaiti Students to Reach for the Stars with Space Presentation

By Story by Capt. Allegra Taylor Task Force Spartan

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait– At the invite of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, Task Force Spartan Chief of Space and Special Programs, Maj. Edwin Vasquez, gave a virtual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics presentation on NASA’s Artemis Space Program to students at the Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity April 3, 2021, in Kuwait.

Over 300 students and Soldiers logged in for the virtual event, which emphasized the importance of STEM. During the presentation, Vasquez educated the students on NASA’s plans to return to the Moon, and one day put people on Mars.

“It was an honor to speak with the students about the NASA Artemis program, something I have been fortunate to be a part of in my civilian career,” said Vasquez. “As both an engineer who has worked for NASA, and a leader in the Army’s Space Corps., I hope this presentation has only strengthened the students’ interest in space exploration so one day they too may work in this field.”

This presentation came at an exciting time for children and adults across the Arab world, as last month the United Arab Emirates became the first country in the region to reach Mars with the Hope probe.

“The students who attended this program were thrilled to have the chance to speak with someone who worked on NASA programs,” U.S. Embassy Cultural Attaché Nelson Wen said. “They asked many questions about how to pursue a career in space and about the Artemis missions. This kind of outreach shows the diversity of talent and backgrounds which U.S. military members in Kuwait have, and I hope we can continue to inspire local audiences by showcasing people like Maj. Vasquez.”

The presentation hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait was a part of their Every Soldier is an Ambassador Program. ESA aims to strengthen the Kuwaiti public’s relationship with U.S. service members through service members’ contributions of their time, skills, and experiences to their host country. Past ESA events have included volunteer work, speaking engagements about an area of interest to the service members, sports and music performances.

“This is a huge moment for our friends and partners in the Middle East,” said Vasquez. “It is exciting to see that as we strengthen our military relationships through bilateral training exercises, we may one day work together in space exploration as well.”

Task Force Spartan is a U.S. Military organization that strives to strengthen U.S. partner relationships across Southwest Asia through annual seminars, key leader engagements and training events between U.S. Soldiers and their partner nations in the region. For more information about Task Force Spartan, visit us at https://www.usarcent.army.mil/About/Units/