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17th Air Force hosts Botswana delegation
Major Charles Johnson of the Botswana Defense Force inquires about U.S. procedures during a joint tactical air control training brief at Einsiedlerhof Air Station. Major Johnson's delegation of officers are the first from an African nation to visit the facility. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Donald Wagers.)
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17th Air Force discusses air operations organization with Botswana

Posted 8/27/2009   Updated 8/27/2009 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd
17th Air Force Public Affairs

8/27/2009 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- What is the best way to organize an Air Operations Center? That is the question a delegation of officers from the Botswana Defense Force is seeking to answer with the help of 17th Air Force, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa, and U.S. Air Forces Europe's 603rd Air Operations Center. 

Lt. Col. Patrick Seboko, Maj. Tshireletso Mophonkolo, Maj. Moemedi Sosong and Maj. Charles Johnson spent four days at Ramstein Air Base and Einsedlerhof Air Station to learn about American AOC operational procedures, organization and equipment.

"The BDF is not necessarily looking at doing things as we do, but more that they are looking at how we accomplish certain tasks," said Master Sgt. Paul Bergerson of the 617th Air Operations Center. "They want to see if our procedures and staff functions can be incorporated into their daily operations."

Currently, the BDF uses an AOC organization based on that of India. As contacts have increased between the United States and Botswana, the BDF is taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their system. They are also the first African nation to visit the air ground operations school at nearby Einsiedlerhof Air Station. 

"I appreciate the organization, courtesy and care that has been shown to us," said Major Johnson. "The briefings were well done. A thousand cheers to 17th Air Force from the Botswana team. We look forward to future interactions." 

Maj. Andrei Mitran of the 617th Air Operations Center was one of the presenters and was impressed by the attentiveness and keen understanding demonstrated by the Botswana delegation. "It was a wonderful start to hopefully a long friendship," he said. "These were great officers and we hope for more interactions."

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