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Ghana Air Force Visits NCOA
Chief Master Sgt. Chris Moore, Kisling NCO Academy commandant, greets Col. Appiah-Agyekum of the Ghana air force as he and his team arrive at the Academy on Kapaun Air Station, Germany Sept. 25, 2013. Leaders of Ghana's air force visited the NCO academy to better understand how the U.S. Air Force develops its enlisted force. They plan on taking the information back to develop their own professional military education program in Ghana. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane)
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Ghana looks to USAFE-AFAFRICA for PME model

Posted 9/29/2013   Updated 9/29/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Master Sgt. Norris Agnew
USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs


9/29/2013 - KAPAUN AIR STATION, Germany -- A team of Ghanaian airmen visited professional military education facilities here to take back best practices to their air force headquarters.

Group Capt. Mike Kwame Appiah-Agyekum, the director of administration for Ghana's air force, toured the First Term Airmen Center, the Kisling NCO Academy, and Airmen Leadership School Sept. 24-27. During the visit Appiah-Agyekum and his fellow airmen received a behind-the-scenes look at enlisted force development programs.

"The world is changing, and we need to move ahead of those changes," said Appiah-Agyekum. "If we don't give our (enlisted airmen) quality, professional training, we'll be left behind."

The Ghanaian air force is working toward establishing an enlisted academy within the next four years based on a two-phase approach.

Phase one, which centers on instructor training, will begin in the next fiscal year. Phase two will involve the actual construction of the school and will take an additional three years.

Appiah-Agyekum said he is looking to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's enlisted military education system as a model for the school, which will train airmen in Ghana and across the sub-Saharan region.

"This will enhance our collaborative relationships in all of West Africa," Appiah-Agyekum said.

Adapting to future challenges, enhancing regional partnerships and creating a new enlisted academy are pretty significant goals. That's why Appiah-Agyekum wants to start with enlisted education.

"We have seen that when you don't impart quality training to your NCOs, and you train only the officers, there's always a disconnect," said Appiah-Agyekum. "They (NCOs) don't understand your doctrine, and your doctrine is the foundation of your air force.

"But when you give them firm doctrinal attitudes and training, you don't have to worry," he said. "You know that outcomes will be brilliant and excellent in the office and on the flight line."

While Ghana's air force stands to benefit from the group's visit, the exchange is also good for USAFE-AFAFRICA.

"Enlisted education is what we do, and it's what we do well," said Senior Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, director of education for Kisling NCOA. "You can look at the exceptional corps of Airmen we have across our Air Force for proof that our educational practices are proven and effective.

"It's simply a confirmation of that fact when another country's air force wants to adopt our practices," Mitchell said. "And when we have a chance to share our ideas, our methods, and our professionalism to our partner air forces, we all benefit."



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