JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (AFNS) – September 10, 2015 — About 40 African military personnel visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to participate in the African Partnership Flight hosted by the 621st Contingency Response Wing Aug. 30-Sept. 4.
The program, sponsored and developed by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, is the premier security cooperation program that partners U.S. and African personnel to improve professional military aviation knowledge, skills and cooperation. African nations that participated in APF included Angola, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana and Tunisia.
“The strength of this program is in the partnerships among African air forces and in each of us learning from each other while enhancing air sovereignty, aviation security cooperation and regional security,” said Maj. Gen. Rick Martin, the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander. “I know that the lessons learned and friendships we developed this week will continue long after this event. I look forward to continuing the journey together.”
During the weeklong engagement, Airmen from the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron focused on sharing ideas and experiences with African counterparts in the realm of logistics management and aircraft maintenance in order to develop mutual understanding and strengthen relationships between participants. Additionally, the event featured interactive classroom discussions, briefings and facility tours at the 621st CRW, 87th Air Base Wing, 305th Air Mobility Wing, and the 1-150th General Support Aviation Battalion.
“This event is about building networks and building partnerships, not only with Americans but with their partner nations on the continent of Africa” said Capt. Philippe Caraghiaur, the 818th MSAS operations flight commander and air adviser. “This event as a whole is key to strengthening partnerships in the global theater. With everything that we have going on around the world and in the continent of Africa right now, there is no greater importance than building friendships.”
According to 1st Lt. Armel Bama, a Burkina Faso air force maintenance officer, the APF interactions with the 818th MSAS will help meet each country’s goals.
“This whole Africa Partnership Flight and cooperation we’re having between the countries is the main goal is for us to have a better world,” he said, “and allows us to build security for our own countries, our region and the world.”