The first week of U.S. Air Forces Africa’s African Partnership Flight wrapped up at Ghana Air Force’s Camp Burma in Accra, Ghana, March 16, 2012.
The African Partnership Flight 12-2 is AFAFRICA’s two-week, military-to-military multilateral and regional engagement event. Classroom instruction included courses in cargo preparation, search and rescue, airfield security, public affairs, flight and ground safety, aerospace physiology, fixed wing aircraft maintenance and more.
Service members from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Senegal and the United States participated in classroom instruction and hands-on aircraft training the first week at Camp Burma in Accra, Ghana.
« We couldn’t have asked for a better, first week here, » said Colonel David Poage, APF mission commander. « The participants seem to really be enjoying themselves and this event. If there was a way to measure the success of an event by ‘smiles generated’, well, I’d think we hit a home run. »
« I’ve already learned so much here, and have had a lot of fun because I’ve had an opportunity to meet new people, » said Warrant Officer Eric Ofori, Ghana Air Force logistician.
The participants exchanged regional expertise in all areas of air mobility increasing all partners’ capacity. Activities as simple as sharing a glass of tea or breaking bread in the dining facility contributed to fostering new and hopefully, lasting partnerships.
« The vision is for APF to become AFAFRICA’s premier semi-annual program for conducting building partnership capacity activities with our African partners, said Major Benjamin Dainty, APF assessments and lessons learned. « The engagement and relationships already built will have lasting effects on regional stability and security. »
« It’s about trust and rapport — giving regional partners a chance to join together and focus on enhancing overall African air mobility, safety and security, » said Captain Kaylee Weeks, 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron APF team lead and logistics readiness air advisor. « Information is most valuable only when it’s shared, and this event offers the perfect venue for sharing information and building partnerships. »
The second week of APF 12-2 will conclude with a capstone event showcasing the participants’ collaborative skills in practical exercises. Service members from each of the countries will don their personal protective equipment, gloves, pencils and calculators to work through the hands-on event. The capstone will take place on the ground with pre-flight planning and operations and will be followed with in-flight techniques and procedures.
« I can’t wait to come back again next week! » Ofori concluded.
By Captain Brooke Brzozowske
U.S. Air Forces Africa Public Affairs Link